[UPDATED: Sunday, Oct. 7, 3:45 p.m.]
Saturday night's Annual Festival of Bands in Verona, featuring 13 local marching bands at the lower Verona Football Field at Verona High School, was "an incredible performance featuring a packed house," according to Verona Director of Bands Erik Lynch Sunday.
"We did everything we could possibly do," Lynch said.
The competition, featuring music, marching and theatrics, was run by the Verona Music Parents Association in conjunction with U.S. Bands.
“I have been here for 11 years,” Lynch said. “They have been doing this well before I got here, I would guess about 20 or 25 years.”
Lynch said this was the band's "best possible performance" and the marching band has four more performances remaining for the year, including a performance on Saturday at MetLife Stadium and the state championships at Rutgers University in New Brunswick on Nov. 3.
Since Verona hosted the competition, they closed out the night at 9:15 with a theatrical show of Romeo and Juliet.
“Our show is a mixture of two composer's renditions, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev,” said Lynch. “We have taken a hybrid of those two composers and made it into a theatrical marching band show where students depict the major characters of Romeo and Juliet.”
The role of Romeo will be played by Verona Junior Austin Williams, on the baritone saxophone while Juliet will be played by Verona Sophomore Kelly Clark from the color guard.
The show is a combination of music and theatrics and even has scenes where the students “duel” with their instruments.
All bands will receive a score from four different judges, except for Verona, who will receive an unofficial and un-posted score since they are the host.
“Verona has an incredibly strong history of music and the marching band is at the heart of that,” said Lynch. “Last year 750 bands competed in this circuit nationwide. There are only three bands that have received the Cadets Award of Excellence more than once and we are one of them.”