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Harrison High Band Ends Year on a High Note

HARRISON, N.Y. — To celebrate their accomplishments and to give the seniors a proper sendoff, the Harrison High School band, color guard and majorettes gathered together one last time Tuesday night.

The students had an outstanding school year as a marching band, performing at football games, co-director Ferdinand Pasqua said. The band marched in the Stamford Balloon Parade at Thanksgiving and also traveled to Boston and Chicago during the school year to perform at music festivals.

"This is an annual tradition for us," Pasqua said of the celebration. "Band teaches these kids to honor a commitment. We are like a family. When seniors go away to college, it is like we are losing a member of our family."

Senior Jacob Seidman has been playing trombone since he was in fourth grade at Purchase Elementary School. In middle school, band was just another class, Seidman said. But in high school, it became a full-time activity that taught him how to manage his time, he said. Seidman is headed to Harvard University, where he hopes to join the orchestra.

Senior Jacqueline Ledesma will attend New York University in the fall, where she will play the flute. Band was an awesome experience because it gave her a chance to meet new people and make new friends, Ledesma said. She praised co-director Charlie Briem.

"Mr. Briem says that excellence is not a goal, it's a way of living," she said. "My time in the band was not only about performing but also about learning other things about life."

David Song switched to the tuba from the trumpet in his freshman year. Song is headed to Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall and wants to join the pep band there. He credits the band with preparing him for the future challenges he will face.

"The band gave us an opportunity to talk to each other since it's a big school and you don't know many people as a freshman," Song said. "As a freshman, you can say hello to a senior in the hallway by name, which makes you feel pretty good."

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