Big Blue Marching Band Preaches Unity, Family

Nicole Braun, Staff Writer

From D.C. to Europe, Ramsey High School’s Big Blue Band has a history of success and members credit their achievements to feeling like a family.

Senior, Tara Lellos, remarks that despite the band’s rigorous practice schedule, she thinks that success stems from the fact that they, “are all very close,” and they, “all listen to each other.” Band teacher of more than 25 years, Mr. Bialkin, furthers this idea when he reminds members that they are a “family.” Lellos says she feels “indebted” to Mr. Bialkin for his hard work, and is grateful that she participates in an activity where the teacher is so dedicated to his students.

Freshman, Michael Cseh, remarks that he is a proud contributor and recognizes that despite he already feels that he is a part of the family. In addition, Cseh says that all the members have become a, “tight knit group” as a result of countless hours of traveling and practicing together.

Big Blue’s participants undergo a brutal practice schedule that practically forces them to become close. Practices require attendance Thursday nights from 6-9PM, a week of training during the summer, aptly named Band Camp, and a rigorous rehearsal for one period during the school day. Lellos and Cseh explain that practices are focused on meticulously perfecting their routines for competitions.

Photo Courtesy of the Big Blue Marching Band
Photo Courtesy of the Big Blue Marching Band

The intense practices and family environment surely do pay off, as Big Blue has won several competitions and broken many records in past few years. In 2014, the band came in fourth in the Tournament of Bands Group 4 Open Circuit which is a record for Ramsey High School. The band’s success has achieved a large amount of recognition which led to the group being invited to play in London for the New Year’s Day Parade, in 2015. Big Blue was also invited to play in Rome, for another New Year’s Day Parade. In 2017, the band will play in Washington D.C. for Memorial Day. At their most recent competition in Hershey Park on October 30th, they tied for fifth place at Atlantic Coast Championships.

While addressing the, “band culture” in Ramsey and the large following for the band, Cseh simply says, “it just becomes something that people love.”