The Marching Band is a performance group that executes precise drill movements on the football field while performing music that complements the movements. Typically, 50-55 students play thirteen different instruments in the Glen Ridge High School Marching Band. The instruments include alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, French horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba, bass guitar, piano, mellophone, and percussion. The percussion ensemble is divided into the pit and the battery. Pit instruments consist of electronic keyboards, basses and guitars, xylophone and vibraphones, bongos, congas, shakers, maracas, and cymbals. Battery instruments include quint and quad drums, cymbals, snare drums, and tuned bass drums.
The band director selects the music, which has varied over the years. Recent performances have included The Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky and the theme from Psycho, North by Northwest, and Taxi Driver by Bernard Herrmann.
Students elect to join the Marching Band in the ninth grade as a school athletic program, rising from the middle school music program. They have the opportunity to find out what it’s like by marching in the town Memorial Day Parade when they are in eighth grade. In the Glen Ridge school district, the Marching Band is considered a varsity sport. Color Guard is an additional vital component of Marching Band and is a way for non-music students to participate in Marching Band. Students interested in joining the Marching Band do not audition or need to have prior skill on an instrument.
Students audition for leadership positions such as drum major, field captain, sectional (brass, upper woodwinds, lower woodwinds, percussion, and color guard) captains, and drill sergeants. These students have to demonstrate their teaching ability with the entire band: to be able to conduct and to run basic exercises with band members. Lastly, they present a project saying why they would be best for the position in an interview by the director, staff, and present leaders in the band.
The Marching Band rehearses one full week at the end of August then three times a week and on weekends from September through November. In the fall of 2013, there were five competitions as well as half-time performances at six home football games.