Winter 2023: Catching Up with the Lancer Band


Courtesy of Eva Bodnar-Whetstone

The Lancer band is a team that brings joy and positivity to all year round.

Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, the Lakeland Regional High School Lancer band has had an incredible year, especially in the winter season. 

Not only did the band have an amazing concert season, but they also maintained an excellent marching band season this past fall. The band practiced the whole summer and played the entire fall supporting the football team. The band also got to participate in the senior night dedicated for the seniors who either played football, cheerleading, or an instrument. 

Band director, Mr. Matthew Testa, has been extremely impressed with the band over the course of the season. He has high expectations and hopes for them in regards to the future seasons to be had with such outstanding players. 

The band offers a continuous sense of community that members adore. For instance, alto saxophone player Sebastian Palmer is not new to the band world. Palmer has played for six years and loved every minute of it. Celebrating senior night with some of his best friends is a treasured memory of his. Another favored moment was cheering on the football team as they won against rivals, West Milford. Palmer has been dedicated to the Lakeland Lancer Band and loves the inclusive feel it offers. 

Color guard helps bring performances together. (Courtesy of Eva Bodnar-Whetstone)

Similarly, junior color guard captain, Kiera Dalton, has been involved with band and colorguard for over five years. She played for two years in the Ryerson band, and then she joined color guard in high school. She expresses extreme gratitude for the decision and is grateful for the unforgettable memories. One example of the one of a kind experiences band offers is band camp. Dalton recalls the “fire truck wet down” as a great memory. Band camp offers a chance for the band participants to get to know each other as friends rather than just knowing each other, while still improving their musical skills. 

Another major contributor in the band is sophomore Eva Bodnar-Whetstone. She shared how she practices religiously and has had a passion for the trumpet for over five years. Since joining the band, she has had the opportunity to form new friendships with many. 

The band also recently held a “Beyond the Stars” concert at Lakeland Regional. Along with Lakeland’s own Lancer band, the event included both Wanaque and Ringwood advanced and beginning band. The 200 musicians on one stage created an atmosphere unlike any other. It was a great showcase which only began to capture the talent these musicians possess.

A common factor that can be recognized after talking with multiple band members is their passion. Thanks to the wonderful guidance from Mr. Testa, their talents have and will continue to flourish. The Lancer band has created so many amazing memories and offers several more, along with great opportunities. However, the best is yet to come.