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2020: We Go On

For the Immaculata High School Spartan Marching Band, the 2020 season was one unlike any other. Yet in many ways, this season resembled so many of the wonderful years that marching band members have experienced in the past. While band camp may not have been at Camp Bernie and the bus rides to competitions were replaced with marches down to our field, there were many elements for the 2020 Immaculata Band that were similar to the seasons of fun and success that the IHS Marching Band has been experiencing for decades.

The band's 2020 program, "We Go On,” was announced in May, and turned out to be a fitting title and rallying cry for the band all season. "We Go On" was based on the music from Disney's Millennium Celebration, music that the band also used two decades earlier for their show in 2000. The band started in-person rehearsals in July and was very excited to welcome back Mrs. Donna Cardaneo as Band Director and welcome Nick Seifert as Assistant Director.

Mrs. Cardaneo shared about the season, "The IHS Spartan Marching Band did a tremendous job navigating through all the obstacles that they faced. I have never had so much heart and soul be put into a show that meant so much to so many! “We Go On” was such a fitting title for this year and students and staff definitely put it into practice." Olivia Izzo, senior Drum Major and member of the Color Guard added "I will always be so grateful for the 2020 Marching Band season. When the world seemed scary, going to Marching Band was like a breath of fresh air. I got to be working hard and performing with all of my favorite people. This year's show, “We Go On,” could not have a better title. I was inspired every time I stepped on the field by all the amazing students and staff working during extremely difficult times to produce a show that everyone could be proud of."Olivia

When asked about his first season leading the Immaculata Band, Mr. Seifert said, "Undoubtedly my favorite moment of the season was during one Saturday rehearsal working on the ballad. The band was on fire that day, and fellow staff member Dan Bonham said to the band, “I don’t think you can do it any better.” Playing the part of the brazen young guy on the field, I yelled out “I do.” Dan and I bet push-ups on who would be right, and the band ran it again. They found a new level on that rep. Without a word, Dan dropped for push-ups on the lift. I think that one moment shows what this whole season was about. These students continued to find the next level every single week of the season because COVID could never cap the dedication, the drive, and the performance of these students."

While the band was unable to travel to competitions this year, they were able to compete throughout the fall season by submitting videos each weekend. Immaculata competed in Division 2, going up against bands of similar size throughout the country. New for 2020, the band also competed in Creative Class. This new competitive outlet allowed the IHS Band staff and parents to record the show and send in a multi-camera video where we could truly feature the members of the band and help bring the story of "We Go On" to life.

Considering the challenges of 2020 and facing competition on a national scale, the band achieved unprecedented success this year. In Division 2 Marching Band, during weekly regular-season competitions, Immaculata captured the Flo Marching Kickoff trophy. In Creative Class, the band captured the Yamaha Cup, DeMoulin Invitational, and Zildjian-Vic Firth Challenge titles. At the end of the season in NJ State and National Championships, the band’s success continued. The Immaculata Drum Line brought home the title for Best Percussion at New Jersey State Championships. For the entire band, the student’s hard work paid off as the Immaculata HS Spartan Marching Band was crowned New Jersey State and Mid-Atlantic Regional Champions in Creative Class.

Izzo added, "While we are not defined by scores, winning States and Regionals gave everyone the validation that the love and dedication we put into the show is being conveyed so that others were enjoying it just as much as we were." "Being a senior in the IHS band means making an effort to leave a positive impact on those around you," added Jean Carlo Picado, IHS senior and clarinet soloist. "As the end of my time in the Music Department draws nearer, one thing that I would like everyone to know is that the Music Department is like a second family. The faculty, staff, and students of the Music Department are always very supportive of one another and provide an environment in which musical talent can be discovered, nourished, and perfected. Even when I graduate at the end of this school year, the friends, memories, and experiences that I have made in the Immaculata Music Department will always have a special place in my heart as I continue on my journey through life."Jean Carlo

The 2020 marching band season was different from any season in the past, and yet they were able to maintain the spirit and tradition of years gone by. The band captured Immaculata's 15th and 16th Championship Titles, our parents, friends, and families cheered loudly for the Spartan Marching Band, our seniors gave it their all, and our rookies became part of our music family.

The Immaculata Music Department would like to thank the Immaculata Administration, our Marching Band Staff, our amazing parent community, and all of our fans for their support throughout the year. And most importantly, thank you to our students. Your commitment and dedication are unparalleled, and you truly demonstrated the title of our show, "We Go On."

Spartan Proud!

Marching BandKatie Julia