Jersey Boys State Symphonic Band
The Boys State Band is an exciting and entertaining part of the week-long program. The band has performed for every New Jersey Governor who has visited Boys State. While the main aspect of the Boys State program is based on politics and government, time is set aside daily for delegates to relax in the form of athletic contests, writing for the daily newspaper, singing in the Boys State Chorus and, rehearsals for the Jersey Boys State Symphonic Band!
Those delegates who currently play in their high school bands/orchestras are eligible to participate in the Boys State Band. A recent addition in 2022 was the inclusion of strings – violin, viola, cello and (acoustic) string bass. However only band and orchestral stringed instruments can be used – no accordion, electric bass, guitar, ukulele or piano (If you indicated piano on your initial Boys State application, you will be contacted for other playing opportunities). If you play Bagpipes, these could be used on a solo.
The band meets daily for about an hour and a half beginning at a time AFTER the sports program starts, so delegates can get a few games in before band rehearsal. At least three performances take place during the week, a warm-up concert just for delegates, as a ceremonial band for the appearance of the Governor of the State of New Jersey, and finally, for the Family Day picnic and graduation ceremony.
Even if you think you might not want to play in the group, bring your instrument anyway and at least give it a try. All instruments are locked up for security, so no need to worry about your professional or school-owned instrument.
Most of the music is patriotic in nature, with original Sousa marches, some movie soundtrack selections, and current pop tunes, all with a difficulty level of 3 to 3-1/2 (on a scale of 1-5). It’s a sight reading extravaganza, an experience that your band directors would be happy for you to have. Many players are All-Shore, All-County, All-Area, All-Region and All-State. However, if you are an advanced beginner or at an intermediate level, this group would still be very beneficial for you. It’s a low-pressure situation in which everyone helps each other.
While the make-up of the band is heavy on the brass side, French horn, euphonium and tuba players are always needed. Woodwind players of all types are also needed. We get many alto saxophone players, however, if you double on tenor or baritone sax, bring either of those. Whatever you play, just bring it! Also, bring a folding wire music stand labeled with your name and school.
You must bring your own personal or school-issued wind or stringed instrument with you; none are available to borrow from Boys State or Rider University. All Percussion equipment will be made available, so no need to bring any Percussion instruments, not even sticks.
There is no time for formal playing auditions so delegates are seated in sections based on the application you must complete online listed below. Fill out the form online, print, and give it to your high school band/orchestra director for their signature. You can scan or take a photo and email the form to Mikedciwgi@aol.com or mail the form (not your director) addressed to:
Michael A. Kallimanis, ALJBS Dean of Music, PO Box 92, Waldwick, NJ 07463-0092
If you want to play in the Boys State Band, complete the steps below:
1. As part of the initial Online Application for the ALJBS program, sign-in with your user name and password, fill out a Band Application click here to get started. AFTER you fill out your regular Boys State application, click “ADD/EDIT Band App” and you will be asked questions about your musical experience and next you will see a PDF Band application. Fill out and print this form. Then follow the instructions above and have it signed by your High School Band/Orchestra Director, and then mail it to ALJBS Dean of Music Michael Kallimanis.
2. Have your High School Director complete a short online recommendation: Tell them to go to our Contact Page and fill out the form with “Band Recommendation” in the Subject line.
Percussionists – only those of you who mail the application in advance and have your director complete the recommendation form, will be considered for the group. Applications must be postmarked by the Monday before the program begins. After that, bring the form with you on the day of registration. Those Percussion applicants received on registration day will be placed on a wait-list which has a 99% rate of acceptance.
E-mail the ALJBS Dean of Music or call (973) 208-3004.