The Rockin’ Redwings
Here’s a nice story (with photos) submitted by Hoboken411 reader Jean Marie Mitchell!
The Rockin’ Redwings
The Rockin’ Redwings are the Hoboken Public School’s revitalized instrumental program. Presently, there are about 50 active band members and dozens more in the instrumental program ranging from grades 5 -12. The new band made their first appearance of the season on March 1 at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade after a several-year absence. They marched down Washington Street from 14th to City hall to cheers from crowds along the route.
In the early 2000’s there was waning participation in the music and arts programs due to budget cuts in the 1990’s. Several board members and local politicians took notice and remarked there was no longer a High School band playing at our football games. With Board of Ed approval, they sought out and recruited Mr. Peter Ising. Since 2006, Mr. Ising has been the District Director of Musical Studies and has reinvigorated the music programs in the Hoboken School System. The Board has since approved an infusion of additional funds and the band was revived.
His plan of action was to recruit in the elementary grades to inspire younger students to continue their musical studies to high school. Mr. Ising refers to the concept as a “feeder program.” He said that Hoboken has a robust recreation department, which supplies experienced student athletes into the High School sports teams. He is using the same principle to ensure a supply of experienced musicians into the high school. He said it takes years to develop a strong high school band. In two short years, they have gone far.
The students attend their instrumental lessons in their own schools, and meet once a week at the high school for practice with the full band. The students are loaned instruments such as the saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute, and drums. Some students play guitar and base guitar.
The new program began on July 1, 2006 with a 15-day summer program which produced a “Pep Band” for the first home football game that season.
Read the rest after the jump!!
The new band is outfitted with more contemporary and casual uniforms. For the cold weather, they wear bright red windbreakers with black pants and shoes. Instead of hard, formal shako hats, they top off with a red “Rockin’ Redwings” emblazoned ski cap. In warmer months they’ll be wearing a red collared polo shirt with the “Rockin’ Redwings” logo.
The marching band director is Gary Enrico, with instrumental instructors Stephanie Safko, Frank D’Amelio, Carlos Roman and Jean Roman handling the rhythm and percussion section. Jean and Carlos Roman are alumni of the Hoboken High School Band.
With continued commitment from the Board, this impressive music program will continue. The elementary school band members will be accomplished musicians by the time they reach High School.
Keep a lookout and cheer them on as they march for the Hoboken Little League’s Opening Day. They’ll lead the teams on April 5 at 10 a.m. from the Elks Club on Washington and 10th to the Little League field on Hudson and Fifth. Come out and support them!