Two local band directors to perform in the Rose Parade


By Haylee Pence

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MIAMI VALLEY – Two local band directors will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at the Rose Parade on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, Cali. Katherine McIntosh, from Troy High School, and Heather Marsh-Myers, from Arcanum-Butler Local Schools, will participate in the Saluting America’s Band Directors parade float. The float will lead over 300 band directors, representing all 50 states.

The parade float and performance is hosted by the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation. Michael Sewell was a band director at Pickerington High School until his passing in 2017. His wife created the foundation to support the arts. The theme of this year’s float is “We Teach Music. We Teach Life,” which represents the impact that band directors can have on their students, and not just in their academic and musical careers.

The band will be performing three pieces during their parade route, which is 5.5 miles long. They are performing “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philips Sousa, “Strike Up the Band” by George Gershwin, and “76 Trombones,” which is arranged by Lisa Galvin, who is a Columbus native. Both Marsh-Myers and McIntosh are most excited to perform “76 Trombones.” Marsh-Myers is excited for this piece because she has met Galvin, and the Arcanum-Butler band will be performing another one of Galvin’s pieces. Galvin visited the school to help the band. McIntosh is excited for this piece because it will be the piece that the band will play when they are “hopefully on TV.”

In order to march and play for the 5.5 mile stretch, both directors have had to put in work to achieve this goal. Marsh-Myers said she’s been “practicing and walking on the treadmill.” McIntosh had health issues recently and has been walking and practicing as well. As band directors, they are already “walking, and on their feet a lot,” said McIntosh. Both directors will also have to memorize all three pieces. “It has been fun for my students to see me practice and memorize the pieces,” Marsh-Myers said.

Marsh-Myers will be marching with a clarinet, while McIntosh will be marching with a mellophone.

Both directors are excited about this incredible opportunity. McIntosh has previously watched the parade in person, but it “will be fun to be a part of the parade.” Marsh-Myers wants to be able to “tell her grandkids someday that she got to be in the parade,” and is excited about “the fellowship of the event.”

“The band director world is a small, and events like this provide networking,” McIntosh said.

McIntosh hopes her students “can see that no matter what’s thrown your way, if you’re determined enough, you can make anything work and achieve your goals.” Marsh-Myers hopes to show her students “that you can do cool things if you work hard and try your best. Music can provide this if you want to continue playing.”

For their students and anyone else who wants to watch, the parade will be on NBC, ABC, and the Hallmark Channels. It will also be available through streaming services, such as Hulu Plus Live TV.

McIntosh is a 23-year veteran of teaching. She began her career in 1988 at Covington Exempted Village Schools and has been teaching at Troy City Schools since 1998. She is currently the Director of Bands and head of the Music Department.

Heather Marsh-Myers is in her sixth year as band director of the Arcanum-Butler Local School District. Previously, she was the assistant band director at Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City for nine years.

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