From the Blog

Spotlight Group: Immaculata High School Marching Band

At YMCA Camp Bernie, we serve a wide diversity of groups whose goals and objectives for visiting camp vary tremendously.


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Upon the conclusion of each summer, the first school we host annually is Immaculata High School. Their purpose in coming to YMCA Camp Bernie is to continue their long standing tradition of fielding an award winning marching band.


Founded in 1962, Immaculata High School is a Catholic Secondary School, operating within the Diocese of Metuchen, in Somerville, New Jersey. The school enrolls approximately 850 Students from the surrounding counties and communities.


The Immaculata High School Spartan Marching Band is one of the cornerstones of the school, consisting of approximately 150 wind, percussion and color guard members. The band performs at all school football games and competes in USSBA, "United States Scholastic Band Association", competitions in the New Jersey area. The Music Director of the school is Sister Dolores Margaret. 


Every year for 28 consecutive summers, Immaculata has visited YMCA Camp Bernie for their band camp week. The school originally came to Camp Bernie for a few reasons; firstly, the location was ideal, just far enough away from Somerville to feel separated but close enough to accommodate special needs, guests and parents. Secondly, YMCA Camp Bernie provided adequate shade and shelter in the event of inclement weather during the trip.


According to Sister Dolores Margaret, “The kids love camp, it unifies them with no other distractions and one concentration. They get to know each other and it builds community and respect across classes”. Additionally, Immaculata High School’s partnership with YMCA Camp Bernie has crossed generations, and is noteworthy for the multitude of parent chaperones that assist in making the week successful.


The Immaculata High School Spartan Marching Band is regarded as one of the finest visual and musical ensembles in the Northeastern United States, and has served its school and greater community proudly and capably for the better part of 30 years. Among the many accolades the band has achieved are: marching in the 1989 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC, and traveling to Canada, Virginia, and Florida. In 2011, the Immaculata High School Spartan Marching Band won the group 6 Open State Championship and was selected to appear on national television on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”.


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