Tattoo pays musical tribute to veterans, military

Military concert and Tattoo pays musical tribute to service men and women, veterans

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  • PHOTOS BY PATRICIA KELLER Highlander Marching Band Drum Majors Connor Partington and Kathryn Keller escort guest of honor United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Curcio.

  • The Clifton Mustangs delight the crowd with their energetic, high-stepping performance.

  • Veterans and current members of the military stand as they are introduced to the crowd at the Tattoo.

  • Colonial Musketeers Fifes and Drums Corps present historical music dating back to the 1700s. They had spectators singing along to “Yankee Doodle.”

  • The Highlanders Marching Band perform an indoor version of its award-winning show, Under My Umbrella, at the 18th Annual Military Concert and Tattoo at West Milford High School.

By Patricia Keller

Traditional and non-conventional bands put on a spectacular show recently in honor of current military service members and veterans.

The 18th annual Military Concert and Tattoo took place on Saturday, Nov. 11, at West Milford High School and a drew large and appreciative crowd.

The West Milford Highlander Marching Band captivated in an indoor version of their award-winning field show, "Under My Umbrella." They got a standing ovation for their skillfull and powerful performance and visual effects.

The 2017 honoree was West Milford High School graduate and former Highlander Band drum sergeant, United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jeremy Curcio.

Curcio represented all active duty service men and women.

The traditional sounds of the pipes and drums are emotionally potent; they can make a person weep or inspire them to dance a joyful jig. And while there are not many people that can say they’ve never shed a tear upon hearing “Amazing Grace” played on the bagpipes, how many can say they have ever heard a Lady Gaga song played on them?

The Highlander Brass Ensemble opened the show with a powerful rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” as Boy Scouts from Troop 114 acted as Honor Guard.

The Highlander Pipes and Drums performed “Dawning of the Day,” followed by a surprise rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” with meticulous “wheels” marching forms.

The Clan Na Vale Pipe Band and St. Columcille Pipe Band each enthralled viewers with traditional pipes and drums musical favorites.

The West Milford Claddagh Pipe Band, accompanied by traditional Irish Dancers of Ridgewood, also enchanted with their traditional dance music.

Colonial Musketeers Fifes and Drums Corps presented historical music dating back to the 1700s. Dressed in uniforms reminiscent of those worn by the Continental Marines of 1776, and playing modern replicas of traditional colonial fifes and drums, the Musketeers had spectators singing along to “Yankee Doodle.”

The energetic Clifton High School Mustang Marching Band once again exhilarated the crowd with their "Through the Decades" program, a massive, dynamic demonstration of vivacious, high-stepping precision marching and dancing -- and visual effects.

The Highlander Band’s Pit Percussion and Mallet Ensembles kept the energy going with upbeat performances of “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister, “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus, and “Shut up and Dance” by Walk the Moon.

The audience was ecstatic when The Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band with The Shots (a crowd favorite) took the stage to perform tunes by Queen and The Young Rascals.

Members of the Highlander Marching Band were individually recognized for their achievements and contributions to the band’s program this year. It then performed its award-winning show “Under My Umbrella,” and received a standing ovation.

West Milford and Clifton high schools bands played numbers representing each branch of the military services as veterans stood to salute and were applauded by other audience members.

The “Massed Band Finale’” encompassed all of the performing bands of the evening in an outstanding, dramatic joint performance of “Amazing Grace."

The annual event is the Highlanders' biggest fundraiser, and helps supports the needs of the program that fall outside of the school' budget, according to West Milford Band Parent Association President Eileen Marzalik.

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