Phoenix Intern

While many of us were preparing for Thanksgiving, the Spring-Ford High School marching band and color guard were in Philadelphia, marching bright and early at the Ikea Thanksgiving Day Parade. This was the band's first time participating in the Parade.

In order to perform in the parade, the marching band was required to apply for the position. The committee then looks at the bands' records and makes their decisions from those who have applied. "They look at your resume of credentials and awards won in the past," said the band's instructor, John Eckstine. Spring-Ford's marching band was one of twelve bands invited from across the nation to perform.

"We had been marching since the end of July, so the kids were in pretty good shape," Eckstine said. After receiving the notification from the committee, the challenge was transforming the band from a "field band to a parade band" and teaching the group of 100 students including 13 color guard participants a new song in approximately two weeks. The song performed at the parade was "March Grandioso."

The students were more than willing to spend Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day in Philadelphia, surrounded by the excitement of the Parade, arriving in Philadelphia the night before to prepare. "We had marched in the Hollywood Christmas parade in California last year and a lot of the kids actually enjoyed marching in this parade more," Eckstine said. "They performed absolutely beautifully."

Their participation in the parade will be the last for a while, although practices will continue. "Marching band-wise, we're pretty much done until February when we go into Jazz Band competitions," said Eckstine.

"It was a real thrill to be able to march in the parade and it was great to represent the school and community," Eckstine said.

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