Annie Mulligan, PR Manager

It was a normal day at Whippany Park. I had just finished fourth period and was on to my class. I had only one thing on my mind—the curly fries that I would be getting at lunch—I was starving. I didn’t eat anything that morning and all I cared about was getting some sort of food in my mouth. Little did I know, that was all about to change. 

I went into the band room, got into my band locker, grabbed my instrument and was ready to play some good ol’ Christmas jingles. I went into the auditorium, and there it was, a simpler version of “Sleigh Ride” sitting in my chair. This simple version of “Sleigh” did not include what was familiar to me. The rhythms were different, no, they were easier, and not in a good way. The rhythms had replaced the overall happiness that the first “Sleigh Ride”. I and others were outraged, and all I could do was say, “What the heck?” 

We were being reprimanded for our efforts at playing “Sleigh Ride”. (Hint: We couldn’t play it). I wasn’t alone in my indignation; Katie Mihalko quickly became the angry force behind the #notmysleighride movement. The hashtag first came about on a private Snapchat story, created by Mihalko. Soon after the hashtag was created many others began agreeing with her.  She was so outraged that she went right to the source, Sab and Sciano, S&S, the leaders of The Pride. 

She questioned them and the reason behind the decision became clear: we had all decreased in our practice habits. It was a sad truth, but one we had to face if we wanted our “Sleigh Ride” back. 

Wednesday after school, I and many others flooded the band room, grabbing our folders and instruments. Seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen all grabbing their instruments and folders. We were all outraged. We all wanted the same thing, the original “Sleigh Ride” back.  The number of people I saw carrying their instruments may have been a Whippany Park Band record. 

On Monday, the battle began once again. We were all waiting to hear the lineup for the day. Sab began talking, all eyes and ears were on him.  And then we heard it, “Take out ‘Sleigh Ride’ by Leroy Anderson, not the new one.” Victory! The original Sleigh Ride was back!

In the end, we were victorious and overjoyed with the feeling that the tradition would be continued. All we wanted was the original rendition with the thrilling sleigh bells and the feeling that you were actually in a forest somewhere on a sleigh ride. As a band member, I think I can say, we are truly happy that this festive tradition will continue and hope it will continue for many years to come.