WINGATE – A local marching band director will join others from across the country to march in an unprecedented marching band.
Kellie Long, group principal of Bald Eagle Area High School, will join group principals across the country on January 1, 2022 at the annual Pasadena de Roses Rose Parade tournament.
A bespoke animated tank will lead a “Fanfare of fanfare directors” up to 300 people from across the country. The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio, is the sponsoring organization behind the project. The foundation was established to recognize and continue the work of the late Mike Sewell, who dedicated his life to school and community music programs in Pickerington and the central Ohio region for over 38 years.
The entrance to the parade will convey the theme, “We teach music. We teach life.
The dedication and extraordinary accomplishments of Band Directors are well known to their students, parents, teachers and administrators. No matter where they teach and work – public and private schools, colleges and universities, the military, community groups – dedicated music teachers and leaders work long hours not only to teach and conduct music, but also to teach life in it. -same. Students’ lives are positively changed by a motivational leader who taught, inspired and mentored them.
Long has been the director of the Bald Eagle Area group for 17 years. His groups have participated in numerous parades including Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida in 2008, 2013 and 2017, New York City Veterans Day in 2009 and 2015, and the National Independence Day Parade in Washington DC in 2012 and 2018. Long has helped many students qualify each year for the PA Music Educators All State Festival. His jazz group has won numerous local awards and in 2016 they won the tournament’s Indoor Association’s Atlantic Coast Jazz Band Championship. Most importantly, Long and his colleagues in the Bald Eagle area music department have been honored as one of the National Association of Music Dealers’ Best Communities for Music Education for the past five years. This honor is only given to 4% of school districts nationwide. Long strives to constantly give his students opportunities for success, to push them to new levels and to make them the best performers, musicians and young people they can be.
Full details of the project are available on the Saluting America’s Band Directors website, BandDirectorSalute.org.