History of the East Orange
Unified Marching Band*
The earliest members of what would become the
East Orange Unified Marching Band, or EOUMB, began their
music educations at the Washington
Academy of Music with Mr. Sandel, who was one of the
early East Orange music staff members credited for the
City-Wide music program that included all of the students
in East Orange School District. At times, dedicated music
teachers like Mr. Raymond Johnson, Mr. Vincent Potuto, Mr. Dennis Chanchosi
and Mr. Rufus Stokes, to name a few, traveled to various
schools throughout the city of East Orange giving
individual music lessons.
The Washington Academy of Music would be the first
site that would bring all the young musicians into one
building with the remaining East Orange Music staff to
develop their talents. One of the early Marching Band
Directors was Mr. Kenner, who gave many of these students
their first Marching experience in the East Orange
Memorial Day Parades. (early 2000's). After receiving a
strong elementary music foundation, the best of the
students attended the Cicely Tyson Middle school where
they would continue their music studies with Mr. Raymond
Johnson, Mrs. Syreeta Thompson and Mr. Frederick Goode.
In High School, they would also study with Mr. Timothy
Dillow and Dr. Oscar Petty, Jr.
October 6, 2006
The East Orange Unified Marching
Band (EOUMB) began in 2006 when Band Director Frederick Goode
(far left) decided that the only way to expand his group was to
include music students from other schools, elementary, middle and
high schools. They met in the building that used to be known as Vernon L. Davey Junior High, but by 1995 it was being called Cicely L. Tyson School
of Performing and Fine Arts serving grades 6 to 12.
The newly formed EOUMB learned to
march in the gym, since there was no football field or outdoor
space large enough around the school building.
Drum practice also took place in
the gym since it was far from the rest of the building and
contained the noise.
The walls probably still echo
from the sounds of the full band getting their start back in
October 28, 2006 - Paul Robeson Stadium
L-R: Mrs. Tomlinson, Morgan Gill, Adnett Tomlinson, Lloyd
On Earth Day 2008, members of the
East Orange Unified Marching Band went to the old First Church in
Orange to participate in helping Jim Gerrish clean up the winter
debris of the Old Burying Ground that is part of East Orange
History as well as History of all the Oranges. More Photos are HERE.
A group of EOUMB students,
reformed as a Jazz Ensemble, got to play sitting down for a
change as the East Orange Education Foundation (EOEF) presented
the Torchbearer for Education Award to The Reverend
Russell White during an Award Luncheon at The Essex Manor in
Bloomfield, NJ. More Photos are HERE.
A Bugle and Brass Ensemble from
the East Orange Unified Marching Band played for the guests
assembled at City Hall Plaza in East Orange, NJ. on Veterans'
Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2008. In the background is the new
Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts which was still
under construction, and which will eventually would be the new
location for the Band. The Color Guard consisted of members of
the Girl Scouts. More Photos are HERE.
It wasn't until the summer of
2009 that we began to see how important it was to keep a record
of the Band and its accomplishments and began making regular
entries about the EOUMB on the current
Band Parents' Web Page.
The summer began with 10 students
traveling with Mr. Goode to Southern University for a session
with a real college band. More Photos HERE.
By 2009, and now officially known
as the East Orange Unified Marching Band* and wearing summer
uniforms with the logo emblazoned on it (see conductor Bria
Douglas above) we can see that the idea worked. The number of
musicians has increased and the policy of getting the students
more involved with running their own band is one of the reasons
Students were learning to write
their own music using the latest computer technology, which also
prepared them for college and future careers in music. You can
learn more details of the Band in 2009 by jumping to their own Web Pages.
This is the last year the students would be at the old VLD
building on Elmwood Avenue. In the Fall of 2009 they entered the newly constructed Cicely L. Tyson building.
New uniforms had been ordered,
but until they arrived, the Band dressed in their new colors of
blue and black exercise outfits that they bought themselves from
money they collected from fund raising events. More Photos HERE.
This was the year the Band had
three drum majors, Lloyd Tomlinson, Allan Theodore, and Bria
Douglas. But they also had a fourth "mascot" Drum Major
in Naji Cherry, shown above giving the hand salute during the
playing of the National Anthem at the game between Seton Hall Prep and East
Drum Major Allan Theodore of the EOUMB
shakes hands with the Drum Major of Bloomfield High.
The above photo shows a
"Band Moment" that was an important "life
skill" taught by the Band, more important than music or
marching - human harmony. The Band Section Leaders always tried
to take time during the game to meet with their counterparts from
the "rival" Band to forge new friendships and alliances
between bands. The above example took place at the Game between Bloomfield High School
and East Orange Campus High.
On this Memorial Day, 2012, our Band turns their backs on the
"dignitaries" in the grandstand and plays for the
veterans and their families and the ordinary taxpayers of East
Orange who seldom get recognized for their support of the Band.
Photo by Al-Quadir Marsh
Back Row standing- David
L-R: Front row seated- Denzel
We also acknowledge our
"Treasured Alumni" from 2012, who always managed to
make it back to East Orange to help out their Band on
special occasions like the annual Memorial Day Parade.
Independence Day, 2014, the Band performed at Paul Robeson Stadium for the
taxpayers of East Orange.
The Band's performance in Philadelphia at the 76er's Game will stay in their memories for their lifetimes.
Alumni from the Summer of 2015
Photo by Frederick Goode
Head Count - Left to Right
beneath the numbers: 1 David Friday, 2 Janelle Jacobs, 3 Neil
Davis, 4 Kaimairya Cuffee, 5 Bria Douglas, 6 Allan Johnson, 7
Michael Gray, 8 Shakquel Peters, 9 Adnett Tomlinson, 10 Denzel
Thompson, 11 Dashaun Hinson, 12 Isaac Davis. #13 is Khalil Welch
who arrived late and was inserted into the photo by computer
This was taken at the Memorial
Day (5/25/15) "After Party" Backyard Barbecue hosted by
Ms Saez and Band Director Frederick Goode.
On August 29th, 2015, a formal
re-organization meeting was held on Mr. Goode's backyard patio
for students and parents who agreed to take their Band out of the
control of the East Orange public school district and the Board
of Education, and combine with the East Orange Police Athletic
League. At the end of the meeting, the organizing members who
signed Police Athletic League applications to be a part of the
PAL - East Orange Unified Marching Band into the future, posed
for this historic photo to remember the occasion. This is the
start of a new era. The Band is back to the beginning, with no
instruments, no uniforms, no music, and no place to practice.
Whether Mr. Goode and Ms Saez can re-form the Band all over again
remains as a challenge for the future. This is
the place to watch that unfold.
* Note: The name "East Orange Unified Marching Band"
is registered with the State of New Jersey as the property of
Frederick Goode, as is "EOUMB" and