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Lancaster Teacher and Student Honored with BPO/ECMEA Awards

Two men holding awards standing in front of a stage.The Lancaster Central School District is known for its acclaimed, award-winning K-12 music program. But, like any successful organization, it is the people involved who make the magic happen. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) and Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) recently recognized high school music teacher Daniel DeAngelis with the Award for Excellence in Music Education and senior Aidan Carney with the Yadzinski Scholarship for the Arts.

For 24 years, Mr. DeAngelis has been an integral part of the success of the Lancaster music program. He has been the chair of the K-12 music department for 11 years and is a co-founder of the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts. At LHS, DeAngelis serves as director of performing arts, producer of the annual musical, and manager of the newly constructed black box theater/music hall, as well as director of the wind symphony, woodwind choir, and handbell choir.

Under his leadership, the Lancaster music department was recently awarded the New York State School Music Association’s Presidential Citation Award, an honor achieved by only 25 school districts across New York state since 1984. Also, Lancaster is consistently named one of the Best Communities in America for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.

“The music department in Lancaster is second to none. The team of music teachers in the district shares their passion for music, and Mr. DeAngelis provides the leadership to focus its efforts to take our music program to a new level on a regular basis. Mr. DeAngelis is a consummate professional who is a strong advocate for both students and the music program. He is an exemplary recipient of this award,” said Andrew Krazmien, Director of Secondary Education. 

The BPO and the ECMEA celebrate the achievements of great Western New York music educators annually.  Established in 1994, these awards recognize and honor music educators who make possible the progression from the very first note, to the last exquisite tone, as students are nurtured into the musical art.

Aidan Carney is a senior tubist at Lancaster High School who has performed with multiple local, county, and state ensembles such as the ECMEA Honors Band, Honors Orchestra, NYSBDA Honor Band, and the Conference All-State Symphonic Band. He is known for his leadership at LHS and his passion for helping others. He plans to continue his journey toward becoming a music educator at SUNY Fredonia in the fall. 

Aidan was awarded the Yadzinski Scholarship for the Arts, which was created in 2021 to honor the nearly 60-year career of Edward I. Yadzinski, a musician, composer, annotator, historian, and educator with the BPO and University at Buffalo. The $2,500 award combines a $2,000 academic scholarship applied towards tuition and school expenses with an educational technology grant of $500 for computers, software, or instruments.

Lancaster Schools offer a comprehensive K-12 music program that serves to inspire creativity and build on skills, culminating in advanced offerings at the high school level, including Advanced Placement and the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.