I love parades. I love the floats and the clowns and the classic cars and the horses. Most of all, I love the bands.
Picture it ... the sun is shining bright ... you arrived early in order to stake out a good curbside seat ... people are milling around, finding places, spreading blankets, laughing, smiling. Policemen have blocked off the ends of the route and all the side access streets, so the path is clear. Childre are running in and out of the middle of the street, straining to get their first glimpse of the parade as it starts to make it's way down the street. Sitting there ... you hear it long before you can see the band ... the beat of the drums, the resonance of the various instruments as they come together in a blend of harmony. Louder and louder they get as they march towards you ... lines even, backs straight, heads up, steps proud ... their formation unbroken as the music moves past.
Yep. Big city or small town ... live or on television ... I love a parade.
This is my eldest girlie's seventh year in band. She's been marching in our hometown parades for seven years now. She began as a 6th grader in middle school and now she is a high school senior.
In the 9th grade, my girlie became a member of The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band. This is not a small feat. This band is serious business. We're in Oklahoma ... an area where football reigns everywhere from little league to high school to college to national ... and while we have a great high school football team ... it is our marching band that brings people from all over, that fills the stands, that win the recognition not only locally but also statewide, regionally and ... in 2006 ... nationally when the Pride of Broken Arrow became the 2006 Grand National Champions.
My girlie was a 15 and a sophmore at the time.
This coming year ... 2009 ... as a senior ... my girlie is going to be marching with Pride one more time in a parade. I would like to invite each and every one of you to join me in watching her.
You can, you know, 'cause this parade is going to be televised.
It's a little parade you might have heard about previously. You see, The Pride of Broken Arrow Marching Band will be marching on January 1, 2009 in the 120th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.
*grins with delight*
I hope you'll join us in watching ... the floats will be breathtaking, the horses will be extraordinary, and the bands will be fantastic ... especially the one with a certain special saxophone player.
She'll be the one in the line behind the cymbals - first one on the left from the middle.
I'll be the one on the couch ... tears in her eyes and pride in her heart.
The Pride of Broken Arrow may be an award winning marching band, but my Pride of Broken Arrow is a certain young lady who has grown from a squeaky beginner to an confident musician.