The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

March 1, 2013

CLASS ACTS

By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — MEDINA — The students in the Medina Mustang Marching Band have taken home four consecutive Governor’s Cup titles, but there’s one New York State Field Band Conference honor the band program is turning down.

Band Co-Director Jim Steele told school board members Tuesday that the NYSFBC considered moving Medina from the Small School 1 classification to the National classification following this year’s state championship performance.

Steele said the notion was an appreciated recognition of the work done by students, staff and boosters, but not the right move for Medina.

They’ll settle for honors like the recognitions given to Drum Major Margaret Laszewski and Assistant Drum Majors Zachary Roeseler and Matthew Stanton by the the school board Tuesday.

“We had outstanding, great leadership this year,” Steele said at the presentation. “We push them hard, but they go the extra mile.”

The state’s field band conference divides schools by K-12 population and then by performance level. There are six classes in total, which three each for both small and large schools.

The Mustang Band has long competed in SS1, which contains the highest performing schools with fewer than 4,000 students. Medina is one of the smallest schools in that classification.

“Every school we compete against is double our size,” Steele noted Thursday.

Steele said the decision to remain in the same classification level is consistent with the band’s main focus — learning, perfecting and performing a spectacular show.

“We don’t go in it to win (a state championship),” Steele said. “We do it to put the best product on the filed … we’ve been fortunate to have won.”

It also doesn’t prevent the Mustang Band from comparing itself to the bigger programs. National classification bands from Victor and Orchard Park both performed at last year’s Fall Festival of Bands in Vet’s Park.

Band members and boosters are busy at work preparing to continue the marching band’s tradition of excellence, which means lots of practice and fundraising. 

To that end, a basket raffle is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Medina High School gymnasium. Winners will be drawn at 7:30 p.m.

Contact reporter Jim Krencik at 798-1400, ext. 6327.