John Bilyk 
Memorial Scholarship

The Scholarship

The Ramsey Wind Symphony is pleased to announce the return of our annual scholarship. With permission from the family we are equally pleased to share our renaming of the scholarship in memory of our longtime member and friend John Bilyk. John was the model member who exemplified community and commitment to volunteer community band. We will be awarding two $500 scholarships to current high school juniors or seniors in Bergen County who participate in large ensemble music. Scholarship applicants do not need to intend to major in music to apply. 

To apply, please write a brief essay with the following information.

  • Please tell us about yourself. 
  • What does large ensemble playing mean to you and why? 
  • How has participation in large ensemble playing helped you develop musically and non-musically?
  • What are your plans after high school? 

Please submit the essay to by Friday, May 3, 2024. Make sure to include your first and last name as well as the high school you attend. The scholarships will be announced at our concert on May 21, 2024 at Tenafly High School.

John Bilyk

2024 Winners: Olivia Ge and Aaron Levine

2023 Winners: Arielle Huang and Nathan Goldberg

About John

In 1963, John began his academic journey as a Music major at Ithica College. However, his passion for the arts led him to pursue a degree in Humanities and Social Sciences at Auburn Community College in 1966. After earning his Associate of Arts degree in 1968, he began working for the school’s AV department, leaving his mark by helping to design and construct their black and white TV studio.

Over the next three decades, John’s career took him on an exciting path, working with a variety of companies and gaining expertise in typesetting, film development, and graphic design. 

It wasn’t until 1985 that music resurfaced in his life, when his son Mathew began playing the trombone. John dusted off his tuba, and as soon as his other son Peter started to play trumpet, John joined his sons in various brass groups for community events and theater productions. John’s musical journey took him to new heights, playing with respected groups such as the Teaneck Summer Band, the Fair Lawn Band, and the Ramsey Wind Symphony. Additionally, John showcased his talents with the Dixieland group Dr. Dubious and the Agnostics. Despite John’s modesty about his abilities, his fellow musicians recognized him as a talented instrumentalist, playing with the skill and passion of a true professional.

John’s story is a testament to the power of passion and dedication. Through hard work and perseverance, he was able to pursue both his love for the arts and his career. And even when life took him on unexpected twists and turns, he never let go of his musical roots.