May 27, 2017
Dear Friends and Families of the Madison Marching Dodgers:
What an exciting time to be a part of this community -- our momentum continues to build and we are ready to embark upon another amazing year for the award-winning Mighty Madison Marching Dodgers! Our organization continues to grow and to exceed expectations. And we recognize that this success has only been possible thanks to your ongoing and generous financial support. That support affords our students an incredible opportunity to gain critical skills of discipline, persistence and teamwork; to strive for excellence in a challenging, educational and also fun (!) environment; and to learn life lessons that will serve them well beyond their school days. The entire Madison Marching Dodger community is extremely appreciative and grateful for your past help to sustain this hardworking Varsity program and we hope we can count on your continued generosity as we look toward even greater success.
To illustrate the incredible impact that this program has had on our students, you can read just a few quotes from a couple of our soon-to-be graduating seniors:
“[M]arching band was like a family to me. For one, I was seeing them more than my actual family, but two, I had built bonds with these people that I knew were going to last.... One day I hope I can become a band director, and create a program that will encourage bonds and friendship, and change students’ lives for the better. What marching means to me comes down to ... [f]riendships, bonds, and people that have influenced me [and] will never be forgotten.”
“Looking back, I see how Marching Band and Color Guard have changed me, in almost every aspect of my life.... I learned the importance of dedication and commitment, and I learned how to be confident in my life, not just in Color Guard (confidence to make friends, to perform, to raise my hand in class, to play softball, and much more).... Not only did Marching Band give me the foundation to become a better person, it gave me the best family and community in the world.”
The success and excellence of the program continues to draw in more students looking to be part of something exciting and worthwhile. For the program to continue its professional level, it is important to ensure there are enough instruments and uniforms, proper staffing to work with the students, and proper field sound equipment, scenery, and transportation. All of this is necessary to maintain the success and well-known reputation they have earned at the local level in Madison as well as within the State of New Jersey and Regional levels.
In short: this hard working group of students needs your help: There will always be a financial gap between what our very supportive Board of Education can provide versus the amount of money needed to run the program.
“PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION” CONTINUES TO RAISE THE BAR
Our 2017 show “Pictures at an Exhibition” -- based on the suite of pieces written by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky -- will continue the Marching Dodgers’ drive for an extremely challenging and highly technical show. While our marching band and color guard program has only been in existence for approximately seven seasons, we have only grown bigger, better and stronger -- harnessing and capitalizing each year on our learnings from prior experiences. Beginning in 2015, the increase in numbers of participating students pushed us into a higher and more competitive class. And, in true Dodger style, we have embraced that challenge to bring our very best -- whether in the stands or during halftime to energize fans, on the field during demanding competitions, or as part of many parades in which our musicians and color guard entertain spectators and act as ambassadors for Madison to the larger world.
Of note, our members amount to nearly 10% of the student population -- which means we are the largest and most inclusive team at Madison High School. It is remarkable to bring together such a rich, cross-section of Madison students and train rigorously to become a synchronized, disciplined unit that performs and competes with the precision, energy and physical fortitude required of a top-caliber marching band. Last year, we had another amazing season and placed 9th in our category in the Atlantic Coast Championships in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which pulls the very top bands from nine different states. Even more important than the top-10 placement was the spirit that the entire group demonstrated throughout what can only be described as a very demanding season that runs essentially from April through December. A testament to the Dodger work ethic and grit, we are never satisfied to rest on our past accomplishments and continue to push the musical and technical difficulty with aspirations to continue our climb up the ranks amongst top caliber bands.
THE MARCHING DODGERS ARE NOW PART OF THE SYSTEM BLUE FAMILY!
We are very excited to announce, starting this season, the Marching Dodgers will be the first high school marching band in New Jersey to use the System Blue Drum Line. Our previous drum line had gone well beyond its expected shelf-life and thanks to your generous support over the past several years, we were able to replace them with the best cutting edge drum technology – System Blue! This very unique professional drum series was designed by the world famous Blue Devils and are known not only for their quality, projection and durability, but also for how light they are (as they weigh 30% less than other drums on the market, significantly reducing fatigue). What a difference that will make to our percussionists who wear the drums + harnesses for many hours throughout practice and performances. The battery is the backbone of every field show and this is a terrific addition that will provide the very best tools to perform at their best.
YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS SUPPORT OUR GROWTH
The cost to run the Marching Dodger 2017 program exceeds $90,000, which translates to approximately $1100 per student. Every student has a place in the Marching Dodgers program regardless of their ability to contribute financially. We are thankful for the support of the Board of Education who graciously provides transportation to and from competitions, but we are dependent on friends, families and our community for assistance. Your tax-deductible donation of ANY amount is urgently needed and greatly appreciated to offset the costs associated with this program. We are strong because of your support that plays an enormous part in our ability to provide an incredible learning experience for our dedicated students.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support! Marching Dodger Booster Club
MDBC is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, Tax ID #27-3687684. Donations are tax-deductible and eligible for employers’ matching gifts. Please consider contacting your employer about matching your gift.