CLARK, NJ - The Arthur L. Johnson Crusader Marching Band recently brought home multiple awards after their competition at the Atlantic Coast Championships (ACCs) in Hershey, Pennsylvania against bands from the Tournament of Band’s (TOB) nine-state region. 

The ALJ band was awarded the Silver Finalist plaque during the award ceremony. Senior Norberto Diaz won the Best Drum Major Award of the ACCs and will be conducting the All-Star Marching Band at the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, PA later this week.    William Shaughnessy, another ALJ senior was awarded a $3K scholarship from TOB during the event. 

Nelly Diaz, mother of Diaz, expressed her pride in his accomplishments and her thanks for the opportunities he has been given.  “Our family and friends are so excited and proud of Bert.  It seems like yesterday that he started the band, but the experiences and skills he learned over the past four years are immeasurable.  He worked hard, encouraged his fellow band members and proudly led the Marching Band as Drum Major for three years.  We want to thank Mrs. Bollaro, Director of bands, and the marching band staff for all the guidance, encouragement, confidence and support they have shown to Bert over the years. The ALJ Marching Band program taught my son much more than music and we are very thankful,” said Mrs. Diaz.

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Shaughnessy’s mother Patti spoke about his time in the band. “Being a part of the ALJ Crusader Marching Band requires hard work, commitment and teamwork one hundred percent of the time.  What the members receive in return is a host of non-musical life lessons that will no doubt have a positive impact as they enter adulthood.  When I think about the many areas of development that marching band has taught William,  they include expression, communication, thinking, mentorship and physical discipline and friendship, I am grateful that he had the opportunity to be a part of it all.  I’m sure that William will forever treasure the memories,” said Mrs. Shaughnessy.

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