A crowd of more than 200 supporters, including the Roslyn Board of Education, family, friends and Town of North Hempstead officials, filed into the Roslyn High School cafeteria Thursday to honor the New York State Champion Rolsyn Marching Bulldogs.
Each member of the band received a certificate and T-shirt and was thanked individually by band director Pat Patterson, Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy and co-presidents of the Roslyn Marching Band Fans Terri Michaels-Kurtz and Suzanne Sideris.
“It’s great that the board [would do this for us],” Patterson said. “We worked very hard for this.”
The ceremony included congratulatory speeches from Ben-Levy, Superintendent Gerard Dempsey, Deputy Superintendent Allison Brown and Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth.
“After an amazing year, your hard work paid off,” Bosworth said as she, Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman, Town Clerk Wayne Wink, and Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan presented the band with a proclamation. “You did something so special. [You] have now reached the ultimate goal of every marching band.”
Dempsey said the parents of the members of the band deserved credit for the state championship as well.
“When something as wonderful as this happens, there are so many people to thank,” he said.
Ben-Levy said the state championship was won because of contributions from every member of the band.
“Whether you are in the band for one year or four we see you,” she said. “We won this year because of every one of you. This marching band wouldn’t be this marching band without your unique contribution.”
Roslyn High School assistant principal Jay Pilnick gave a Powerpoint presentation of the history of the marching band, while dressed in a full marching band uniform.
He and fellow assistant principal Carol Murphy traveled with the band to Carrier Dome in Syracuse to watch them compete.
Pilnick, who is also the high school’s music chairperson, said he was very proud of the band’s achievement.
“They were not just musically perfect,” he said. “They were having the best time of their life. That is what really came through.”
On Nov. 1, at the Carrier Dome the band scored an 81.70 to take home the state championship in the Small School Three Class at the 42nd annual New York State Field Band Conference.
The win gave Roslyn its first state title in school history.
Pilnick said the 81.70 score was the highest score of the season.
Each band at the competition performed a seven-to-10-minute show for judges observing both on and above the field.
Bands were evaluated on their timing, appearance, visuals and musical production.
In recognition of their victory, Roslyn High School was awarded the Governor’s Cup trophy, a plaque and badges for band and staff members.
The cup has been passed around to all Small School Three winners in the state for 16 years, each school getting their name engraved on it.
After a six-hour drive back to Roslyn, following the state championship performance, the three busses carrying the band were greeted with banners, balloons, fire trucks and an ice cream truck.
“This is very unique achievement,” Ben-Levy said. “This achievement is because this marching band is a team in every sense of the word.”
The next board meeting will be on Dec. 3 at the East Hills School.