“Veterans Day Parade”
Parkway South Middle School Band
Parkway South Middle School
For years, the band program has been an integral part of the Veterans Day Assembly. With Covid restrictions, we were unable to invite veterans into our school. We decided if veterans could not come indoors for an assembly, we would do the event outdoors with a PARADE. The band prepared pieces honoring the 5 branches of the military along with patriotic music. Community members and local retirement homes paraded in cars through the school drive led by the local fire department. The school lined up with banners/signs to cheer and the band performed as cars drove by.
The objective of the advocacy initiative was to create an event that honored veterans. By preparing and performing music for this event, my students were given an opportunity to honor these veterans while learning that music can provide a significant impact to an individual and to a group. By honoring others through music, my students gained a sense of self-worth and pride in what they have accomplished as a music student. They brought joy to complete strangers. That is one of the powers of music.
The entire community was the target audience.
Veterans: taking a moment to honor the veterans within our community.
8th Grade Band: having a meaningful performance that goes beyond the traditional concert. Entire Staff and Student Body: having a moment of celebration where the whole school can pull together for one cause.
After being quarantined and virtual, this was the first event where we as a school were able to pull together as a community in person. This was the first performance for my 8th grade band since 6th grade and it reminded them of their importance as an individual musician as well as a whole band.
The idea was presented to the administration in early August. Students began working on music in mid-September. The initial information to the community went out in early October and then again in mid-October via school emails and school newsletter. The performance took place on Veterans Day in the morning.
Overview of Planning and Execution
The school secretary helped order supplies for the signs and banners. The print shop printed the signs for the cars. The principal sent out community information via email and newsletters. Resource officer contacted the local police and fire departments for more fanfare. The band director prepared the 8th grade band, did the parade planning, created the information that went out to the community, monitored the sign-up list, informed teachers of the schedule and contacted the local retirement homes. Many of these could be delegated with a committee.
Tools and Resources
The only tools/resources used were picking appropriate music for the event and creating binders for playing outside. The students sat in chairs with stands since the event took place on school grounds. The office purchased poster board for the school to make signs. Signs were made during an advisory period. This advisory time was also used to present the Veterans Day lesson.
Marketing and Promotion
- Information about the event went to all parents through email, newsletter and Facebook.
- Local retirement homes were individually contacted about the event.
- The attached Welcome Center and Students Services buildings were notified of and invited to the event.
- Veterans (or the family member representing them) attending signed up on a Google Form. This helped plan for the number of attendees and the information used was also collected to create signs for each of the cars.
- Patriotic music: We already had the pieces in our library. If it needed to be purchased, about $150.
- Notebooks and page protectors for music during outside performance: $75
- Poster board: Since this was a school event, this was purchased by the office and did not come out of the music budget. $100
The main issues encountered would be the need to delegate some of the tasks. A small committee would be helpful for the event. One can expect that people will sign up late. Weather can have an impact on the event.
There were approximately 50 veterans that attended the inaugural event. Teachers and students cheered the band as they re-entered the building. The number of thank you emails, and calls to the administration was overwhelming. Both students and veterans left the event smiling. At the conclusion of the event, the principal said we have a new tradition.
Music Program: The Veterans Parade was the first for performance for the 8th Graders since coming out of virtual learning. Although we were still not able to have a traditional concert, this experience allowed for the students to understand the steps in preparing for a performance as well as taking pride in performing for others to honor their service.
School: The school was able to pull together as a community to honor the veterans with music as an integral part of the celebration. The band was celebrated by by their peers and younger band students were able to see/hear a higher level band perform.
District: The district celebrated the event by creating a video with the band as the background music. Local Community: As a school, we were able to invite community members, including local retirement homes, to feel honored by students and staff. After the parade, all of the signs were collected and delivered to the local retirement home to be used for their evening celebration.
Advice for others?
Do this!!!! It is worth any and all energy in planning and performing. My advice would be to delegate some of the community communication. Although it is not difficult, having a few of the little tasks taken on by other individuals would be helpful.