American Legion Jersey Boys State

American Legion Jersey Boys State
A Week That Shapes the Future

Jersey Boys State 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, most recently Governors Chris Christie, Brendan Byrne, Thomas Kean, James Florio, Christine Whitman and James McGreevey. While the main aspect of the 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 and, rehearsals for the band.

Those delegates who currently play in their high school bands/orchestras are eligible to participate in the Boys State Band. However, only band instruments are used - no pianos, strings, accordion, bass, guitar, etc. We could use Bagpipes! The band meets daily for about an hour and a half beginning at a time AFTER the sports program starts, so a delegate can get a game or two 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 New Jersey, and finally, for the 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, and even some movie soundtrack selections, all with a difficulty level of 3 to 3-1/2. It's a sight reading extravaganza, an experience that your band directors would be happy for you to have. Many of the 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 be very beneficial for you. It's a low-pressure situation where everyone helps each other.

While the make-up of the band is heavy on the brass side, trumpets and trombones in particular, 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. No instruments can be provided except for all Percussion so no need to bring snares, sticks, etc.

There is no time for formal playing auditions so delegates are seated in sections based on the application you can complete online listed below. Fill out the form, print it, and give it to your high school band/orchestra director. Include a stamped envelope addressed to:

Michael A. Kallimanis
ALJBS Dean of Music
Box 92
Waldwick, NJ 07463-0092

If you want to play in the band, complete the steps below:
1. As part of the Online Application for the ALJBS program, fill out a new Band Application click here to get started. AFTER you fill out your regular application, click "ADD/EDIT Band App" - you will be prompted for questions about your musical history which will provide you a PDF application. Print with your local printer. Then follow the instructions to have it signed by your High School Band Director, and mail it to ALJBS Dean of Music Mike Kallimanis listed above.

2. Have your High School Band Director complete a short online recommendation: Tell them to go to or to come to this page for the link.

A short recommendation is requested from your director. Percussionists, only those of you who fill out the application in advance and have your director complete the 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.
E-mail the ALJBS Dean of Music or call (973) 208-3004.

Jersey Boys State Chorus

Yes, there is even a chorus at Boys State! This is the group that leads the entire delegation of Statesmen in song. A special feature of the ALJBS Chorus is the a cappella section of Peter Wilhousky's setting of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Boys State is an entire experience and it can only be stated here that when the chorus sings this song, your 950 fellow Statesmen will be awestruck. This is something that rarely happens back at your home high schools. The chorus is open to anyone who can read music, has high school choral experience, or knows the Battle Hymn a cappella section. No sign-ups are needed; just come to the first rehearsal - particulars will be listed in the program guide you will receive upon your arrival at Boys State.