Downingtown to host mu­sic com­pe­ti­tion

‘Caval­cade of Bands’ on Satur­day will fea­ture more than 12 march­ing band per­for­mances

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Ginger Rae Dun­bar gdun­bar@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @GingerDun­bar on Twit­ter

DOWNINGTOWN >> This com­pe­ti­tion is all about the half­time show.

Downingtown Mu­sic Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced it will host the “Caval­cade of Bands” march­ing band com­pe­ti­tion at Downingtown West High School at Kottmeyer Sta­dium at 445 Manor Av­enue on Satur­day, Sept. 24. The march­ing bands will per­form to earn re­gional recog­ni­tion for ex­cel­lence in mu­si­cal per­for­mance, march­ing pre­ci­sion, flag/guard per­for­mance and drum­line.

As the hosts, Downingtown East and West High School bands will per­form in ex­hi­bi­tion. Both school bands will per­form its half-time show with­out be­ing judged for the com­pe­ti­tion. In ad­di­tion to the dozen high school per­for­mances, Ship­pens­burg Univer­sity and Bos­ton Col­lege both will per­form its col­lege-level show to en­ter­tain the au­di­ence.

Ac­cord­ing to event or­ga­niz­ers, the fol­low­ing schools will per­form in ad­di­tion to East and West: Coatesville; Unionville; Ken­nett; Marple New­town; Gar­net Val­ley; Wis­sahickon; Up­per Merion; Bridgeton; Ha­zle­ton; Penns Grove; and Amer­i­can.

The show will be­gin at 6 p.m. with the Downingtown East and West High School march­ing bands com­bin­ing its more than 310 stu­dents to play the Na­tional An­them. The gates open at 4:30 p.m.

West Band Di­rec­tor Ed­ward Otto, an alum­nus of the Downingtown mu­sic pro­gram, en­cour­ages former band mem­bers to come to sup­port the event and to meet up with old high school friends.

“This caval­cade event is such a ter­rific com­mu­nity builder for Downingtown,” Otto said. “So many area residents have been a part Downingtown’s tremen­dous mu­sic pro­gram, we love that the event cre­ates an op­por­tu­nity for them to come back to en­joy a night of award-win­ning mu­sic and to see the bands un­der the sta­dium lights.”

The Mu­sic Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion mem­bers noted that de­spite re­search show­ing the im­por­tance of mu­sic per­for­mance for cog­ni­tive and so­cial de­vel­op­ment, mu­sic pro­grams na­tion­wide have been cut by school boards and school dis­tricts. The as­so­ci­a­tion said it has “tried to fill the fi­nan­cial gap as much as pos­si­ble” in the Downingtown area.

“The Mu­sic Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sents the com­mit­ment of all the mu­sic par­ents – band, orches­tra, and cho­rus - from all three high schools,” MPA Pres­i­dent Robin McMillen stated in a news re­lease about West, East and the STEM Academy. “The board is not al­ways able to fund the mu­sic pro­gram at a con­sis­tent level from year to year. Fundrais­ing ef­forts like this Caval­cade of Bands event help sup­port all the mu­sic pro­grams where the district fund­ing leaves off. Over the years, we have been able to pur­chase uni­forms and ris­ers for the choral pro­gram, re­pair or re­place in­stru­ments for band and orches­tra stu­dents, and bring in some re­ally unique pro­gram en­hance­ments that would not have been pos­si­ble other­wise. In ad­di­tion to be­ing a com­mu­nity event, the caval­cade is a key fundraiser for the MPA.”

Tick­ets for the Caval­cade of Bands are avail­able at East, West or STEM. Tick­ets are $8 for adults and $5 for chil­dren un­der 12 prior to the event; se­nior ci­ti­zens and mil­i­tary are dis­counted prices; tick­ets at the gate on Satur­day are $10 for adults and $7 for chil­dren. The con­ces­sion stand will be open for ham­burg­ers, hot dogs, French fries, snacks and drinks.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact mpa.info@gmail.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Downingtown Mu­sic Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion an­nounced it will host the Caval­cade of Bands march­ing band com­pe­ti­tion at Downingtown West High School Kottmeyer Sta­dium on Satur­day, Sept. 24.

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