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Ossining Students in NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade

OSSINING, N.Y. – They have to march and play their instruments for an hour straight, but students with Ossining High School ’s marching band say the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade is more than worth it.

“We play the whole time, all the way down, and beating the drum or playing an instrument can get pretty tiring, but it’s definitely worth the effort,” said 16-year-old sophomore Anthony Galindo. “When you first start out your back starts aching, but by the end you don’t feel any pain because you see the smiling faces and the people having fun and it becomes really fun.”

Band director Rodrigo Vargas said Ossining High School has been involved in the event for the past 15 years. Unlike in previous years, when a dozen students would step off late in the afternoon, this year the group has a morning step-off time – ensuring that the students will make it into the television broadcast of the parade on WNBC, Vargas said.

“They always rise to the occasion,” Vargas said. “I think being moved up in the formation slowly but surely is a testament to how great they do. We’re all very honored to be a part of this, and I think it’s great that they’ve done so well with it, too.”

While it looks like fun on TV, senior Roslyn Wertheimer, 17, said marching can take a lot out of people.

“Having all of the people around you gives you a lot more energy and gets you pumped up and makes it worth it,” Roslyn said. “I think a lot of people don’t realize the stamina it takes to go through. You need to be focused.”

Sophomore Lizette Boehling, 16, agreed.

“It’s not just us walking down the street,” Lizette said. “After all of the practice, you get to the parade and see everyone supporting us, and it’s great because we see we’re appreciated for our efforts.”

Caitlin Piccirillo-Stosser, 15, said she loves feeling the accomplishment of finishing the parade, but her favorite part is the camaraderie in the band.

“We like to stand in a huddle and sing beforehand, and it makes a lot more relaxed and it’s easier to have a fun time,” she said. “When we actually do it we’re focused, but we have fun with it, too.”

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