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Hawthorne Caballeros Open House Report

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fall weekend.  Coming off a holiday where everyone is with family and friends, returning members where excited to see their second family only a couple days later.  Not only that, seeing the new faces, both staff and prospective membership, drove that excitement further!  Upon walking through the doors of Passaic County Tech, members, new and old, staff, and parents were immediately immersed in the 2017 show concept.

Chris Fontanelle kicked off the ‘meet and greet’ by introducing Matt Hurley, the returning show coordinator.  Matt walked everyone through the background of the 2017 show, along with releasing the 2017 musical selections!  From there, Matt introduced the design team, supervisors, and caption heads.


Following Matt, Al Katz, Business Manager, walked the room through the 2017 financial obligations, annual schedule overview, and fund raising opportunities.  Lou Storck closed the introductions be explaining the history of the corps and adding a deeper layer to the meaning of the 2017 program — celebrate the lives of those we lost.


At the conclusion, returning and prospective members broke into their sections.   Brass congregated with Music Supervisor, Adam Freeman.  Percussion members worked with Mark Monaghan, Matt Blood, and their staff.  The color guard worked out in the athletic center with Bobbey Biddle.


While everyone was introduced to the various musical and visual programs that the Caballeros offer, parents had the opportunity to speak with the administration from a range of topics that included, ways for the parents to get involved as a way to offset annual membership tuition.


At the conclusion of a successful first day, the Caballeros went from rehearsal attire to formal attire to attend the annual Hawthorne Caballeros Awards Dinner.  A great time was had by all at the Pompton Plains Regency House Hotel.  The entire Caballeros organizations got to recognize the following members:

  • Tom Beebe, for his years of service as a Hawthorne Caballeros instructor and administrator (2003-2016)
  • Chris Fontanelle, for his years of service as a Hawthorne Caballeros baritone, drum major, and volunteer (2002-2016)
  • Jean Sowinski, recipient of the Josef Lauber Volunteer of the Year award
  • Frank Salati, recipient of the Hawthorne Caballlero of the Year trophy
  • Jacqueline Arquer, recipient of the Color Guard Member of the Year award
  • Kirsten Raschdorf, recipient of the Horn Player of the Year award
  • Alec Scully, recipient of the Marcher of the Year award
  • Steven Barnett, recipient of the Percussionist of the Year award


A great night was had by all, but everyone was ready to get back to practice on Sunday.  All sections continued to learn 2017 show and parade music.  Unfortunately, time flew and our 2017 Open House Weekend came to an end.  Watching membership and staff leave rehearsal, all smiles, was a sight to see.  The energy and excitement for the 2017 program is already evident (and heard)!

If you didn’t have an opportunity to make it to the open house, don’t worry!  The next camp weekend details are below:

  • Date: 12/17 9a-8p; 12/18 9a-4p
  • Location: North Warren HS, 10 Noe Road, Blairstown, NJ 07825

If you would like to receive information ahead of the next camp weekend, please fill out the new member form: and contact Mike Ryan, Membership Manager,

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