The Bridgewater-Raritan High School (BRHS) Marching Band brought its regards to Broadway on June 7 at the American Theatre Wing’s Annual Spring Gala, the event that kicks off the week leading up to the Tony Awards.
The American Theatre Wing contacted band director Larry Markiewicz on the recommendation of the Hal Leonard Corporation. This year’s event was a tribute to songwriter Frank Loesser (“Guys and Dolls,” “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”) in what would have been his centennial year.
The band surprised the star-studded crowd, including Loesser’s widow, with the song “The New Ashmolean Marching Society and Students’ Conservatory Band” from “Where’s Charley,” a musical from 1948 that featured a marching band.
“The whole reason why we were there was the element of surprise,” Markiewicz says. “We stormed into the doors real quick.”
Freshman trumpet player Brian Jeremiah also opened the dinner with “Fugue for Tinhorns” from Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls.”
Broadway stars Harry Connick Jr., Kelli O’Hara and Megan Mullally all congratulated and interacted with the band, especially Connick Jr., who came out to the bus after the performance and took pictures with the students.
“It was incredible,” Markiewicz says. “The kids were treated like professionals, and they had a great time; it was a real nice thing.”
The Annual Spring Gala proceeds go to benefi t the education and outreach programs of the American Theatre Wing. The BRHS band has won the U.S. Scholastic Band Association New Jersey State Championship six out of the last eight years and is currently enjoying a “three-peat.” It also recently played for halftime at a New York Giants NFL game.