The Westfield High School Marching Blue Devils placed first in the US Bands Gold Star competition in South Brunswick High School on October 5, besting six other bands in their division. Following their strong 2nd place performance the week before, the Marching Blue Devils were also awarded Best Music, and, for the second straight time, Best Color Guard. The band opened with their showcase piece, "Dream", a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
When asked what the band did to improve their show, Band Director, Mr. Chris Vitale, said, "the students worked hard the week between both competitions to refine their performance and master additional visual improvements to their routines. Everything went really well on Saturday night, and the students had a spectacular performance. The most important thing, though, is that they were very happy coming off the field, and the positive results were just icing on the cake." Added Band President and Horn Sergeant, David Gruskin, "performing under the lights for an energetic crowd is a great experience; there is no better feeling than marching off the field after an amazing performance."
The Marching Blue Devils are slated to perform next at the New Jersey State Championship in Rutgers University on October 19, competing against 20 other high school bands in their division. "At this point in the season, most bands are comfortable with getting through the music and drill in their shows", observed Gruskin. "In the week between now and States, our band will be working to reach the next level, which comes from a strict attention to detail". Mr. Vitale emphasized that the band's worst enemy at this point is complacency. "We talk to the students about continuing to have high standards for themselves. The show is constantly evolving to what we hope will be an effective, emotional and refined final product. It's important that the band stays grounded, humble, and focused on the big picture - our final competitive performance in Annapolis in November".