Woodbury band marching into New York CityArea News
-- While some area students use spring break this week to catch up on sleep or head to the sun, the Woodbury High School Marching Royals will be traveling to the Big Apple.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith , Pierce County Herald
WOODBURY, Minn. -- While some area students use spring break this week to catch up on sleep or head to the sun, the Woodbury High School Marching Royals will be traveling to the Big Apple.
The marching band will perform Saturday in the 252nd New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade and will be in New York from Thursday through Monday.
“This just struck me as an amazing opportunity,” band director Brent Comeau said. “New York is such a mecca for performing arts.”
The parade will feature more than 150,000 marchers and performers and attracts more than 2.5 million spectators every year.
Prepping for St. Patrick’s Day
Last year, Comeau was approached by parade organizers about submitting an application to perform.
“The parade solicits bands that have performed in other notable performances,” Comeau said, “and ours was the Waikiki Holiday Parade.”
Comeau said he decided to submit the application because the marching band looks for a touring opportunity every year.
“I try to find opportunities for students that will be memorable,” he said.
For the past several months, the band has been rehearsing two songs for the parade – “Minnesota March” by John Philip Sousa and “Good Time” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen.
“You get the old traditional marching band tune and the new pop stuff,” Comeau said.
He said rehearsing has been a challenge.
“Rehearsing the marching band in the middle of winter is an interesting endeavor,” he said. “We’ve been marching around the inside track.”
Since the parade is 2.5 miles, Comeau said he has also been working to help get students in shape.
“There’s been some conditioning to get them ready for the physical side of things,” he said.
In addition to the parade, the marching band will spend some time seeing New York City.
The group will see “The Lion King” on Broadway and attend a Broadway musical workshop where they will work with the musical director of “Annie” to learn a couple of the songs and then perform the song with a member of the cast.
The band will also visit Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial and FDNY Memorial Wall, and take a harbor cruise to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
The Marching Royals will give a send-off performance at 7:45 a.m. Thursday in the Woodbury High School auditorium, performing the two songs it will play in the New York City parade. Everyone is invited to attend.
While marching in New York City, the band is expected to reach the television cameras between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. CST. The parade will be streamed live online at www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air.