Mackenzie Costello : Color Guard History


Mackenzie Costello performing color guard.

Alli Getchell, Staff Writer

Mackenzie Costello, a Hawthorne High School senior and current color guard member in the HHS marching band, has an impressive history in the town with the Hawthorne Caballeros. Costello and her family leave a long lasting legacy in the Caballeros.

Costello’s grandfather, James J. Costello Jr. created the Hawthorne Caballeros.  The Hawthorne Caballeros started in 1946, when Costello’s grandfather came home from World War II and decided he wanted to create a drum corp. A lot of Costello’s relatives were involved with the Caballeros and are in the alumni corp to this day. Costello’s grandfather was the director and president of the organization for 55 years. Following the Costello-Caballeros tradition, Costello’s parents met while in the Caballeros together. Her father played percussion, her mother was in the color guard, and her older sister Shea Costello performed the mellophone and cymbals. 

The Hawthorne Caballeros have won the DCA World championship 9 times and, the American Legion National Title 16 times, The National Dream contest 17 times, and The New Jersey State American Legion Title 43 times.

Costello was originally a Band Manager, which consisted of filing band music, carrying band equipment, helping out the Band Director, etc.  After being involved in the band, she decided to take a chance and try out color guard for herself. “I picked up a flag and instantly liked it,” Costello states. She started to practice more and eventually asked Mr. Williams, the current Band Director, if she could switch her role from manager to part of the color guard. When Costello told her parents, they were thrilled because music has always been in her family.“Joining band had to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When I step onto the field, it’s one of the greatest feelings,” she adds.

“Performing on the field is amazing and I love the feeling I get in my stomach before I perform. But no one really understands that when they see a performance, they see a performance, but not the hours of rehearsal and dedication it takes. Guard takes a lot of passion and strength. You have to perform every moment like it’s your last,” says Costello. As for Costello’s ambitions, she hopes to some day follow in her mother’s footsteps and to be a part of her family’s Drum Corp.