High School Honor Band

  • Chosen from over three hundred applicants, the Sayville band students recently returned from the New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) High School Honor Band and Jazz Band Symposium, held in Syracuse. 

    “The students had an amazing experience!” Sayville High School Band Director, Kerri VanBoxel shared.  “The High School Honor Band students had the opportunity to work with Dr. Matthew Westgate, Director of Wind Studies of UMass Amherst.  Leading the High School Honor Jazz Ensemble was Roxy Coss, a fixture on the New York jazz scene as well as on the faculty of The Juilliard School. The Middle School Honor Band was conducted by Dr. Thomas Gamboa, Assistant Professor and Assistant Director of Wind Studies at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  In addition to working extremely hard in rehearsals, up to 8 hours a day, our Sayville students had the opportunity to socialize with band students from across New York State.  The two-day festival culminated in outstanding performances by each of the ensembles."

Below: About the Middle School Honor Band Musician

  • Middle School Band Director Mrs. Kim Lattanzio asked Ava Helbock to share her experience with the Middle School Honor Band.


In Her Own Words...

  • "NYSBDA is an experience that I am extremely honored to have gotten,” said Ava, “an experience I will certainly never forget. The New York State Band Directors Association selected students from schools all across the state to participate in an All-State Honor Band. I was selected based on my NYSSMA score on the oboe and my teacher’s recommendation. I represented Sayville in the Middle School Division. I spent the weekend in Syracuse, and we rehearsed all weekend to perform a concert. I attended leadership workshops and met so many talented kids my age. My conductor was Dr. Gamboa from the University of Cincinnati, and he did an astounding job in teaching us techniques and tricks to make is sound better and more professional. This band was not like any other musical group I have ever been a part of. We moved extremely quickly, and as a result, we learned that in order to be great, we all had to work together. After just two days, we became a family of extremely talented individuals. I am so grateful to have been a part of this amazing opportunity, and I have made some truly incredible friends. I feel as if I came back from this experience as a changed, more experienced young musician.”

Sayville High School Musicians at NYSBDA Symposium

HS Musicians

  • Congratulations to the Sayville High School students and Middle School student for being selected: Honor Band - Emily Helbock, grade 10 - French Horn; Luke Lundquist, grade 11 - Tuba; Lauren Minasian, grade 11 - Trumpet; Michael Pitre, grade 11 - Oboe; (including alternate Matthew Sullivan, grade 12 - Percussion.) Honor Jazz Band - Brandan Mazzullo, grade 10 - Alto Sax and Middle School Oboist Ava Helbock.



The Helbock Sisters at NYSBDA in Syracuse

The Helbock Sisters