Playing in the Parade, the Marching Patriots play down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World last May.
Playing in the Parade, the Marching Patriots play down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World last May.
Photo Credit: Photo used with permission from Colonia_band, Mr. Perdoni.

Patriots Marching to Victory

The Marching Patriots at Colonia High School plays a very big part in Colonia High School’s beloved football team, but that isn’t their only accomplishment.

The Marching Patriots consist of the marching band and the color guard. The color guard and marching band performs at every football game at Colonia High School and the marching band travels with them to away games. Not only do they play for games they play in many parades and community functions.

For the games, the color guard makes their debut at halftime at all Colonia High School games weather permitting with the band making it a whole Colonia High School experience.

The Marching Patriots get the crowd at games excited. They play whenever our football team needs some hype or when the Patriots score. The person behind Colonia High School’s Marching Patriots is Mr. Kevin Perdoni who is also the band teacher at Colonia High School. Perdoni makes all the decisions when it comes to the Marching Patriots although he has assistants and the band parent organization.

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The band is made up of wind and percussion students. To join the band you do not have to have an audition. Any student in grades 8-12 can join the Marching Patriots. The Marching Patriots perform from August through May.

Besides performing at games the Colonia High School’s Marching Patriots including the band and the color guard compete in competitions against other schools and their bands. They are part of the USBAND circuit. Competitions happen on weekends on Saturday at 7 o’clock at night.

The Colonia High School Marching Patriots are very active in the community. They perform in many parades throughout the community. Some of the parades they perform in are the Woodbridge’s Veterans Day Parade, Woodbridge Holiday Parade, Memorial Day Parade, and many more parades around Woodbridge Township.

This 2015 school year the Marching Patriots have beat their highest record. The Marching Patriots scored first place finishes and 10 individual caption awards.

Overall, Colonia High School’s Marching Patriots are making some noise; they are beating records and pepping up the school for football games and pep rallies.
Color Guard

Photo used with permission from Colonia_band, Mr. Perdoni.
Photo Credit: Colonia_band, instagram
Photo used with permission from Colonia_band, Mr. Perdoni.

Colonia High School Color Guard is a big part in the Marching Band. They usually practice for 2-3 hours, sometimes every day.  To get the desired scores, they practice excessively. You know what they say, ‘Practice makes perfect.’ During competition season, they practice everyday for long amounts of time. Before school even resumes in September, there is a semi- mandatory band camp during the first week of the month of August from the first to eighth. For football games and competitions, they usually don’t perform in the rain but if it’s too cold they have to suffer through it.

Their choice of props are flags and rifles. Since they are a part of the Marching Patriots, the Color Guard performs at half time at the school football games and during Marching Band competitions.  Some students don’t like to go when it’s cold, windy and raining but they endure it cause it comes with the job.

You cannot miss the Color Guard section only because they wear a bright hot pink dress shirt with bow ties, suspenders and black pants topped with a black hat this year. They also sit in the same place (more or less) during the whole game except at half time where they go on the field and show what they got.

The songs are not chosen by the students but by their Band Teacher Mr. Kevin Perdoni. Sophomore Hannah Corpuz said, “ He usually likes Jazzy songs for us to do most of the time.”

The Color Guard is inspired to get their score up in competitions against other schools. Every year they switch up the songs a little bit so there can be a variation between years. Some students write some songs but for performances they usually use cover songs. Sophomore Destiny Davis even stated, “ We should do some Beyoncé or Michael Jackson, I think it would change it up a little.”

Musicians

Photo used with permission from Colonia_band, Mr. Perdoni.
Photo Credit: Colonia_band instagram
Photo used with permission from Colonia_band, Mr. Perdoni.

Colonia High School Band considers this year to be the best year ever. They got first place three times, ten individual caption awards, (Best Music, Best Effect, Best Visual, Best Guard, etc.)  and they’re top ten in states. They even broke a new high score of, 90.75 in the USBAND competitions. After asking Mr. Perdoni, the CHS Band teacher, what he did differently this year, he said, “Our music was arranged for us by a composer in Michigan. It was tailored to our strengths. We also brought in a guest clinician. We modified our show at the halfway point more than ever before.”

Aside from the amazing accomplishments, they have been asked to represent New Jersey at the 2016 National Memorial Parade in Washington D.C. The band will be broadcast on PBS and seen by over 1.5 million. This extraordinary band has done amazing things. They have performed for the maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas ship, and has traveled to Boston, Cleveland, Virginia, Washington DC, and Walt Disney World in Florida five times. These exceptional players perform in any weather. Discussing weather conditions Mr. Perdoni said, “we were lucky it only rained once this season. Cold is okay, but wet weather is bad for the instruments.”

Colonia High School Band consists of many winds, and percussion players from grades eight through twelve, who are extremely dedicated and proud to do what they do. These talented young performers always play in varsity football games, pep rallies, community functions, parades, and many more.

This fantastic group of band members is very inspiring to many. Many would want to know what inspires them. When Mr. Perdoni was asked he said, “Commitment to a common goal. To push ourselves more than we thought we could to increase our scores each week.”

There’s so much to love about Colonia High School’s Marching Patriots. From their dedicated instructors, to their very talented musicians, twirlers, and dancers, it is very obvious that every Marching Patriot is important and very involved. These talented performers truly make their performances the best it can be.

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About the Contributors
Amanda Rivera, Fall Reporter
Amanda Rivera is fifteen years old, and a sophomore in high school, her nationality is Puerto Rican and most people call her Mandiee. She has more of a “glass half-full” kind of personality.She is very short which allows her to move, and sneak around very easily although it is very difficult seeing over tall people in a crowd.Out of high school Rivera hopes to become successful and work in a well paying job. She also enjoys reading and writing. As a freshmen she ran track in Colonia High School as a sprinter,which she hopes to continue to run later on in her high school career . Rivera also has dedicated her time volunteering in a Alphabet Academy which is a daycare center in her town. She enjoyed playing with the children and helping out the staff. Rivera is a very strong and confident person and loves to debate. She hopes to get a job this year, preferably with benefits:). Until then she will continue studying and working hard in school to get good grades.
Tani Popoola, Fall Reporter
Tanitoluwa (Tani) Popoola, a sophomore at Colonia High school, was born on August 17, 2000.  Popoola loves to sleep, eat, and sing the most. She also likes to go shopping but doesn’t always have the money to do so. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to East Orange NJ where she lived until she was two years old when she moved to Avenel, NJ. Both of her parents are pastors at the church  Christian Breakthrough Fellowship International Ministries where her mom also teaches the younger children.When she is not at home, she’s usually at church. At church she is part of a dance team and helps celebrates events and make them memorable she also sings and helps with the engineering department. Every year the youth department goes on a retreat and it is always a great experience. She lives with her parents and two little brothers. Her dad is a dialysis technician and her mom is in school to get a higher license in nursing. Her two little brothers are 12 and 9 and all they do is play video games and go outside. Popoola is very family oriented and has always been. Her family is extremely close even with the relatives from Nigeria. She participates in Colonia’s winter and spring track which is coached by her English teacher Coach Quick. She doesn't any other sports because she's simply just better at running. She's 5'4 and full of energy at all times and her friends call her crazy but its all in love. "Fun size people have so much more fun"- Is her saying and she stands by it firmly!
Mikeala Westbrook, Fall Reporter
Mikeala Westbrook sophomore at Colonia High School was born April 7, 2000. Westbrook likes to take on a challenge in every sector of her life. In school she likes taking on harder classes and taking on more chores at home. At home she lives with her mom, brother and sister. Her family of four moved to Avenel in 2013. She was originally born in Queens, New York and not many years later the Westbrook family started a new adventure in New Jersey. Her life wasn’t always easy, over the past few years death has struck her family way too often but has taught her to live life to the fullest and to not take anything for granted. Westbrook hopes to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in fashion design, marketing, and fashion journalism at the FIT campus in New York City. She then hopes to move on and create her own fashion line and maybe even obtain her masters and doctorate degrees.

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