By Sara Keshavarz and Deborah Worden

Lace up your running shoes and join the Langley High School and Cooper Middle School bands at the 5th Bands on the Run 5K!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 8 a.m. as we hit the pavement for a fitness-filled morning. This exhilarating event, benefiting the band programs of Langley High School and Cooper Middle School, welcomes participants of all ages and fitness levels.

The history of the 5K began in 2018. Mary Kunkemueller and Ronnie Raju (then co-presidents of the Langley HS Band Association) envisioned this fundraiser, which would bring the community together.

Each year, families of Langley, Cooper, and the elementary schools in the Langley pyramid, along with fellow area runners, are invited to be part of this community-wide celebration. Whether you run like the wind or prefer a leisurely stroll, the Bands on the Run 5K is open to everyone.

Registration is now open, and with kids under age 5 joining for free, it’s an opportunity for the whole family to get involved. After crossing the finish line, revel in the post-run festivities with live DJ music, snacks, and the chance to explore sponsor booths.

Band enrollment has steadily been on the rise at both Cooper and Langley.

Band directors Matthew Baker (Cooper MS) and Doug Martin (Langley HS) work together to provide a top-notch musical education to their students. This duo has created a synergy between their two programs, affording students a near seamless transition from middle school to high school band. Martin, who has been at Langley since 2012, often visits band classes at Cooper, so by the time students attend high school, he is a familiar face. Baker, at Cooper MS since 2013, is a frequent visitor at Langley, especially during marching band season. His connection with students is obvious from the warm smiles and waves he receives from his former students.

Working directly alongside Baker are Alex Singer, assistant band director, and Julianna Lee, assistant percussion instructor. Doug Wallace serves as the percussion instructor at Cooper and Langley. At Langley, Martin shares responsibilities with his assistant, Kai Smith. These musicians, along with numerous other sectional specialists, all work together to help students improve their skills and technique.

Funds that we receive from this 5K will help with professional sectional teachers, guest clinicians,repairing and replacing instruments, equipment, and uniforms, and funding scholarships for students in need to participate in band events.

Come together with friends, neighbors, and families to make this Bands on the Run 5K a harmonious blend of fitness, music, and community spirit. Let’s run for a cause and support the vibrant band programs at Langley High School and Cooper Middle School!

We greatly appreciate our event sponsors. A huge thanks to those local companies who have already pledged their support. If you would like to help us meet our fundraising goal, please contact Sara Keshavarz at (908) 962-5500 to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

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