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June 9, 2014

Pageant of Bands looks back on 65 years

Almost 30 school bands participated in the 65th annual Pageant of the Bands in Sherburne, culminating with a parade Saturday afternoon. 

Laurens Central School once again took top honors for Class D, also taking home the Albert Whitney Overall Achievement and the Frank Miller Outstanding Director awards. The Norman Palmiter Jr. Percussion Award was presented to Richfield Springs Central School. Marion won the Drum Major Award, with Naples coming in second. 

The marching bands were colorful in both their uniforms and their performances as several expanded themes on various elements such as butterflies, superheroes, guitar wars and bicycles. 

Edmeston’s band presented a rendition of “Bicycle Race” by Queen, featuring a band member on a bicycle as a complement. Many of the schools competing for the trophies employed unique elements in their performances. 

“This competition means a whole lot to us,” said Matt Zbytniewski, who plays the trumpet for West Canada Valley High School. “We work very hard, and we feel like we are a part of something big. Not everybody gets to come to Sherburne to compete.”

West Canada took Best of Class in Division C, as well as first place for Small Ensemble Concert Band in the same division.

“I think we did pretty good,” said Shane Bonney, band director for West Canada Valley High School, Saturday, just after her band’s performance in front of the judges. “We usually bring home some wins. My husband and I have worked really hard trying to change the climate at our school concerning band. It used to be that band was not cool — you had to play sports to be cool. Now, I think, the students see it as something special to be a part of.”

In recognition of the 65th anniversary of the event, this year’s parade featured a performance by alumni of Sherburne-Earlville’s marching band, including multiple generations of local families. 

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