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Suffolk School Notebook: Long Island students win in field band competition

Hicksville High School's color guard took first place

Hicksville High School's color guard took first place in the advanced visual ensemble category of the New York State Field Band Conference's Individual & Ensemble Competition, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Credit: Hicksville School District

Twenty-one Long Island students were among the winners of a virtual competition held in lieu of this year's New York State Field Band Conference Championship — with teens from Copiague and Hicksville high schools placing first in their respective categories.

The conference held a first-ever Individual & Ensemble Competition last month after canceling its annual championship in Syracuse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants submitted videos of themselves engaged in live performances with no visual or audio enhancements.

Long Island's top awardees were Eitan Chervony and Joshua Archer of Walter G. O'Connell Copiague High School, who placed first in the marching tenor drums advanced and auxiliary intermediate categories, respectively. Chervony also placed fourth in the marching snare drum advanced category.

In addition, Hicksville High School's color guard took first place in the competition's advanced visual ensemble category. Hicksville's team members were Sarah Chavez, Cassidy Flanagan, Alexa Gomez, Alejandro Gonzalez, Calypso Henriques, Arianna Nelson, Nicole Rubio and Kevin Sandoval.

"Our students at Hicksville have continued to demonstrate their dedication and passion to marching band and have overcome the obstacles of a unique year," Hicksville marching band director Kerri Barnett said.

Other winners were: Leah Arbitman, Roslyn High School, second place, flute advanced; Emma Scionti, Sachem High School, third place, flute advanced; Samantha Mason, Hicksville High School, fourth place, flute advanced; Nisarg Shah, Hicksville High School, fourth place, saxophone advanced; and Heather Sims, Malverne High School, sixth place, clarinet advanced.

A Sachem school district team of Sophia Berkowitz, Krista Danielo, Johanna Hovanec, Nicolette Mathes, Belén Vaccaro and Isabella Weber placed second in the visual ensemble advanced category.

DIX HILLS

Master class

Half Hollow Hills High School East junior Andrew Arloro was one of three students to participate in the Philadelphia International Music Festival's virtual master class with Jeffrey Lang, the associate principal horn for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Arloro, who auditioned for the spot, performed Mozart's Concerto No. 3, Movement 1, "Allegro," for an online audience last month during the class and received constructive criticism from the musician.

"To 'step' onto digital 'stage' feels easier for me than stepping on a stage in front of a big audience, because I'm in my own home," Arloro said.

WYANDANCH

$300G grant

The Wyandanch School District recently received a $300,000 grant from the New York State Education Department as part of the New York State Integration Program — Professional Learning Community Grants.

The funds will assist in promoting staff understanding of the benefits of racial, socioeconomic and other types of student integration, and help create an individualized district integration plan. In total, the state awarded more than $19 million in grants as part of the effort's third and final phase.

"These funds will help districts develop exciting and effective strategies that fit the needs of their unique students and communities," Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said.

ISLANDWIDE

Outstanding renovations

Great Neck South High School's library media center and Malverne High School's performing arts center received awards for Outstanding Design in Interior Renovation through a competition coordinated by the magazine American School & University. Each was featured in its 2020 Educational Interiors Showcase Issue in August.

Great Neck's facility includes new technology with differentiated zones for individual focus as well as settings for small and large-group instruction. Malverne's 300-seat facility features new technology, sound and lighting systems, and a band room with a storage mezzanine.

In addition, Suffolk County Community College's Health and Wellness Center in Riverhead received a citation in the magazine's 2020 Architectural Portfolio Issue in November/December.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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