Big Blue in Washington D.C.

Amanda Kaczorowski, Staff Writer

Constitution Avenue is home to many nationally known landmarks, such as the Smithsonian Castle and the Washington Monument, and is in close proximity to the Capitol Building, as well as the White House. On Monday, May 29, this road had further significance for the students of Ramsey High School. The American Veterans Center invited the Ramsey High School Big Blue Marching Band and Guard to march in the National Memorial Day Parade, an annual event honoring the men and women who have fought and died in their service to the United States. Many veterans march in the parade as well, separated by war, accompanied by a marching band playing a tune from their respective conflict. At the Memorial Day Parade, Big Blue performed a fusion of Chester and Yankee Doodle; both selections originating from the time of the American Revolution.


The Ramsey High School Big Blue Marching Band and Guard has been known for its ‘exhibitions,’ having ventured to Rome, London, Boston, Orlando, and New York City to flaunt its abilities. This year, Big Blue took on Washington D.C., along with over one hundred other bands from across the United States. Mr. Bialkin received word of the band’s eligibility from Cory Booker, one of New Jersey’s Senators. From there, an audition tape was submitted to the organization, and preparation began. Tara Lellos, senior and Drum Major, recalls, “When I first heard that the band was invited to perform in DC, I was very excited. To be recognized and asked to perform a such a prestigious event is such an amazing opportunity! Mr. Bialkin has stressed how important this event is and I have never seen the band practice this much for a parade.”


In addition to performing, the Marching Band visited numerous other locations, such as Virginia Beach, Busch Gardens, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the United States Air Force Memorial. Furthermore, the Ramsey High School jazz band performed at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial for a theater filled with hundreds of people. Despite all of these wonderful opportunities and experiences, Mr. Bialkin was most excited about “seeing the band members socializing and working towards something together to put something together that we can all be proud of … every time we go away, the dynamic of the band changes for the better. After Rome, the band bonded together so much, and I can’t wait to watch it happen all over again.”