Column: Trojan Band provides community spiritWORTHINGTON — On Thursday, Nov. 24, The “Spirit of Worthington” Trojan Marching Band will be one of the featured bands in the 78th annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago, Ill.
By: Jon Loy, District 518, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — On Thursday, Nov. 24, The “Spirit of Worthington” Trojan Marching Band will be one of the featured bands in the 78th annual McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago, Ill. More than 75 million households will watch the three-hour live parade on Chicago’s very own WGN-TV, and another 350,000 will line famous State Street, downtown Chicago, to catch a glimpse of the gigantic character balloons, international stars, Tom Turkey, ornate floats and marching bands from across the nation — 21 in all. A special appearance by Santa Claus will mark the beginning of the holiday season for young and old alike.
The 116-member band from Worthington will be making a return appearance to this national parade, having traveled to Chicago in 2008, and is coming off of an award-winning championship season with its critically acclaimed “PHANTOM!” parade show. Parade coverage begins at 8 a.m. CST on WGN. The Trojan Band will be marching in the first half of the live parade television broadcast Thanksgiving morning. WGN’s coverage includes specialty acts beginning at 8 a.m., with the actual parade stepping off at 9 a.m. CST. The parade is nationally televised but will also be streaming live at www.wgntv.com.
Be sure to catch the Trojan Band’s national parade appearance somewhere between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Parade coverage ends at 11 a.m. Please check your local cable listing for exact channels and times. Go Trojans!
The Worthington band application process began more than a year ago for its upcoming 2011 Chicago McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day Parade national appearance.
After festival organizers reviewed video footage and read through the WHS band’s resume of awards and honors, an official invitation was extended for Worthington to make a return appearance and be designated as one of the featured parade bands in 2011. Plans here at WHS began almost immediately as parents and students rallied around “Project Parade.” Three major fundraisers as well as the annual Marching Band Indoor Concert Waffle Feed and Silent Auction provided the funds needed to send the 116 members to their second straight national parade appearance.
Residents of Worthington and surrounding communities have offered so much to the WHS Band and the entire District 518 Music Program. We are so blessed to be continually supported by so many wonderful community/school leaders, area businesses and individuals who have all felt the “Spirit of Worthington” and shared in our marching season together.
Now, this week, in the band’s final parade appearance of their award-winning championship season, it is fitting that locally, regionally, nationally and globally, people from all over can also “catch the spirit” of the band as it represents Worthington with pride, honor, dignity and excellence. Proud parents have shared so much with the band this season, too, as chaperones, financial supporters, cheerleaders and goodwill ambassadors to anyone and everyone who would listen to their stories of kids’ lives being filled with encouragement and a sense of belonging as a member of the Trojan band. In all of this, we give thanks!
For alumni of the Worthington music program, the band’s success is a testimony of all who have gone before this year’s membership and paved the way with hard work and perseverance, creating a reputation to be the best and include the rest! In all of this, we give thanks!
No ‘I’ in team effort for band
Guided by a high school marching band parent board made up of 11 energetic and motivated individuals, their efforts are anything but individual. From driving the band trailer to chaperone recruitment to organizing various committees to public relations and website management, students and their parents work alongside one another to create a common bond of excellence.
The Worthington Area Music Boosters Organization (WAMBO), supplements, as needed, valuable resources that benefit students in the entire District 518 Music Program. Worthington’s nine-member music staff all contribute on a daily basis, including a firm foundation of music knowledge that supports a student K-12 in their exploration of and contribution to the performing arts relating to music including general music classes, band, choir and orchestra. When one music group has success, all share in that as team collaborators and team supporters.
The high school marching band program offers, and is built upon, a philosophy of student leadership led by commanders, section leaders and the membership-at-large. Perhaps it is that kind of education that allows for peer teaching and shared successes to bond a group, worthy of high accolades and praise. It may be a newsflash for those reading this, but for the kids who experience it every season, it is just the icing on the cake. “The difference between dreams and reality is effort.” March on, Trojans!
Jon Loy is the ‘Spirit of Worthington’ Trojan Marching Band’s director.