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Bands 'make the parade' for King Turkey Day

Worthington High School band drum section leader Deann Naab (left) assists trumpet section leader Aaron Grafing in trying on a band uniform at the school.

WORTHINGTON -- If your favorite part of the King Turkey Day (KTD) parade is absorbing the dynamic sights and sounds of the marching bands, this is your lucky year.

"We are very excited to have 11 bands participating in this year's parade," announced Beth Namanny, KTD parade chairman. "That means there will be one marching band for about every 10 units in the parade--we are so thrilled, because this is the most we've had in a very long while."

Leading the way will be "The Spirit of Worthington" Trojan marching band, now in its fourth season under the baton of Jon Loy, Worthington High School (WHS) director of bands.

"Our parade show this year was taken from our field opener of last year and adapted to the street," explained Loy. "It's to the music of the Foo Fighters, and parade-goers should enjoy the upbeat music as much as the band students do; it's contemporary and energizing."

Last November, the Trojan marching band traveled to Chicago and marched to positive reviews in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Since then, the band has continued working hard, with the dozens of band members spending the last two weeks of July in band camp. During that time, they learned new field show maneuvers, trained in freshmen players and honed drumline and color guard routines.

"This is a big year for us as we turn the corner in competition," asserted Loy. "For a third year, we will be involved with field show competition on Saturdays during September and October, and judges will be taking a harder look at us.

"They'll be noticing our improved marching technique, our musical sound and maneuvering execution."

Selections from the popular musical "Wicked," which returning band members saw while in Chicago last year, are the foundation of the Trojans' 2009 field show.

"Our field show will be very memorable because of the color and imagery we will portray," assured Loy.

The public can preview that field show on Trojan Field at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, when the marching Trojans will be joined in field exhibition by the Northern State University (NSU) Marching Wolves from Aberdeen, S.D. The latter's field show is based on the music of Michael Jackson and is titled "Thriller."

The NSU Marching Wolves -- an acclaimed marching band under the direction of Boyd Perkins -- will be one of the 11 bands participating in the KTD parade earlier in the afternoon.

Among the other bands participating in the parade are the Worthington Middle School Band (directed by Mike Andersen), the Adrian Marching Dragons, the Sioux Falls Christian Chargers, the New Ulm Eagles, Central Lyon Middle School, the Fulda Raiders, West Central Marching Trojans of Hartford, S.D., the Murray County Central Marching Band and the Boyden-Hull, Iowa, High School Marching Comets.

Loy has worked with many of the above bands, including having been on the summer band staff as color guard camp director for the NSU Marching Wolves, and is delighted that so many will be in town to join in the KTD festivities and be part of the local parade competition.

"Our local bands aren't an official part of the competition, as we are the hosts," clarified Loy, "but all of the bands will receive a parade participation plaque.

"Visiting bands are considered for special Caption Awards, including outstanding band, color guard, drum majors and drumline."

WHS marching band commanders this year are seniors Wesley Berger and Ian Krekelberg and junior Brandon Berger. The band's 2009 season theme, uniting its field and parade shows, is "March Out Loud."

"One of our goals is to make a loud, positive statement that our band is up for the competition," said Loy. "We wouldn't be where we are right now without vision and support -- from the school, parents, students and community.

"You can't get anywhere without that support, because it takes everyone to make it happen."

For her part, Namanny is pleased that the marching Trojans' energy and Loy's enthusiasm have helped beef up the KTD band numbers.

"There will be more than 800 high school and college kids in the KTD parade," noted Namanny. "Jon Loy is a good parade promoter, and we are very appreciative of his efforts."

Loy, in turn, acknowledges the important role the KTD Committee plays in enabling such participation.

"I really appreciate how hard the parade committee works to make improvements and put on the parade," expressed Loy. "Most people don't realize the amount of time and effort it takes to coordinate a parade of this size and quality, but they make it happen.

"They also are very generous in giving support to the bands by subsidizing some transportation costs and providing water bottles for all band members at the parade's end."

Namanny and Loy think the public will appreciate their mutual labor when the numerous, colorful bands stream by on Saturday afternoon.

"People really love the bands," observed Namanny. "They are what make the parade."

The "Spirit of Worthington" Trojan Marching Band invites the public to a fee-free field exhibition at 4:30 p.m. at Trojan Field, where it will debut its 2009 field show set to music from "Wicked," and the Northern State University Marching Wolves will perform their show based on the music of Michael Jackson, titled "Thriller."