By Joseph Pratt
The members of the 2014-15 Minford High School Marching Band, the Marching Falcons, recently returned home after a trip to Washington DC, in which they marched to the beat of their own drum in front of hundreds of thousands spectators. The trip came after reaping the benefits of a year of fund-raising and receiving the honor of marching in the National Independence Day Parade.
Not only did the students spend a year fund-raising, but they spent years prior to that building up a reputation to receive the nomination by Congressman Bill Johnson that earned them the honor of marching in the parade.
Johnson was very pleased to honor the band with his nomination, after learning much about the group and the talented kids in it.
“I am extremely pleased to nominate the Minford High School band to participate in the 2015 National Independent Day Parade,” Johnson said, when he made the recommendation last August. “The Marching Falcons were the only band nominated from Eastern and Southeastern Ohio. I’ve heard many great comments from those throughout the community regarding their performances, and I am thrilled that they will represent Scioto County, and all of Ohio’s Sixth Congressional District in Washington.”
The National Independence Day Parade takes place annually on July 4 in Washington D.C. before hundreds of thousands of spectators. The parade consists of invited bands, drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian teams, drill teams, VIP’s, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. The parade is a major national event, which seeks to draw the attention of Americans to the real meaning of the holiday.
The Minford Marching Falcons have been under the direction of Adam Porter for the past seven years. Porter graduated from Morehead State University in 2007 and is a graduated Falcon himself.
“The students did an excellent job and represented our area and state with the utmost respect and class,” Porter said. “Spectators were constantly complementing our group as we marching the parade route. It was truly an honor to have this experience.”
The marching band had approximately 51 active members over this most recent academic year.
Porter said the trip meant a lot to him as a teacher, because it was validating to his students who all work very hard to achieve what they’ve earned.
“I believe they [students] had a lot of mixed emotions,” Porter said. “They were excited, nervous, and honored to have the opportunity to march in such a prestigious parade.”
One of the students to march in the capital was Robbie Carver. Carver just recently graduated as a mighty falcon alumni this year. After four years in band, he graduated as the section leader of the drumline. Carver is currently preparing to enter the Navy.
Carver said that marching in the band was a major part of his high school career and he has many highlights to look back on.
“The first real highlight was getting section leader over a senior when I was only a junior. Everything kept going uphill with competitions and our percussion class took first place in every level,” Carver said. “We worked really hard to get where we are and it felt good to know it was all for something.”
Carver said that the trip to Washington was the biggest highlight of his time spent in band.
“The trip was really great and we all had a good time. I’m really glad I got to go,” Carver said. “We had a huge crowd and it was pretty nerve-racking to start, but things got more relaxed as we got to going. I will look back on this and all my band memories.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.