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Dulaney High’s band roars in London; chess rules at Cockeysville Middle

From left, Miles Sheppy, Jonathan Zhang, Kristine Xie, Sarah Nelson and Jason Longley, shown in London, are saxophonists in the Dulaney High School Lion’s Roar Marching Band, which appeared in the English capital's New Year’s Day parade for a third time.
From left, Miles Sheppy, Jonathan Zhang, Kristine Xie, Sarah Nelson and Jason Longley, shown in London, are saxophonists in the Dulaney High School Lion’s Roar Marching Band, which appeared in the English capital's New Year’s Day parade for a third time. (Heather Longley)

On Jan. 1, the Lion’s Roar Marching Band from Dulaney High School took to the streets of London when the members participated in the New Year’s Day Parade.

Forty members of the band, along with parents and a few alumni, headed to England for the parade and a bit of sightseeing. Led by band director Barry Chesky, the band marched about 2 miles through the heart of London, pausing to perform the song “Light Em Up” by Fall Out Boy during the route.

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This is the third time that the Lion’s Roar Marching Band has participated in the London’s New Year’s Day Parade ,with previous appearances in 2011 and 2015. The parade draws a crowd of approximately 600,000 and is broadcast worldwide; it was shown locally on Maryland Public Television.

The Lion’s Roar Marching Band was invited to participate based on its well-deserved reputation and an evaluation of its previous performances. The Lion’s Roar is familiar with performing in front of large audiences, with performances in New Orleans at the Sugar Bowl halftime show and parade in 2013 and 2017, as well as several performances at Walt Disney World in Florida. Congratulations to all the students for representing our town so well on an international stage.

Back in December, Chessfest 2019 drew a crowd of chess-playing enthusiasts to Cockeysville Middle School for an evening of chess, food and fun. Described as a “celebration of chess” by organizer Glenn Segal, a science teacher at Cockeysville Middle, more than 80 students from across the area attended to play games, discuss chess and, in some cases, to play against coaches and other experienced chess players. On hand to challenge and encourage the student players were two master chess players, William Morrison, a two-time Maryland state champion, and Arkadiy Frenkel, a national master, along with two of the top student players in the state, Dulaney High School’s Joseph Tarantin and Anthony Granruth of Towson High School.

Segal has long been a champion of chess for students and has been unwavering in making chess accessible to BCPS students across the county. The Chess Club at Cockeysville Middle is thriving, and he also serves as the volunteer chess coordinator for all of BCPS.

Segal has seen the benefits of students being exposed to chess, both inside and outside the classroom. Focus, critical and creative thinking and problem-solving skills are all sharpened by playing chess and, according to Segal, “Baltimore County has the best chess program in the state, with many student players competing in statewide tournaments against other youth and even against adults.”

Back in 2012, Segal began to hold chess evenings at Cockeysville to give more opportunities for students to play, and Chessfest has grown out of those events. In April, students will once again converge on Cockeysville Middle for the annual BCPS Chess Tournament, with more than 200 students expected to participate.

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