UD band to march in Philly Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade

Newark Post - - LOCAL NEWS - By BROOKE SCHULTZ [email protected]­pub.com

If you tune into the 6ABC’s broad­cast of the Philadel­phia Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade, you might see some fa­mil­iar faces.

The Univer­sity of Delaware’s Fightin’ Blue Hen March­ing Band will take cen­ter stage as the only band fea­tured on the tele­cast.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to get out to Philly, which is just a spit up the road and is a ma­jor met­ro­pol­i­tan city, and have more peo­ple than usual see the UD March­ing Band and go, ‘Wow,’” said Heidi Sarver, di­rec­tor of the band. “It’s won­der­ful ex­po­sure for the band and univer­sity, just to get on that re­gional-na­tional map.”

On the steps of the Philadel­phia Mu­seum of Art around 10:45 a.m. for just about two min­utes, the band will have its chance to reach the tris­tate area. The band, which is more than 300 mem­bers strong, was se­lected through an ap­pli­ca­tion process.

The band chose a hol­i­day theme, Sarver said.

“We de­cided to do some­thing new,” she said. “It’s com­pletely staged, more like a theater pro­duc­tion than a march­ing band show. It’ll be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than what peo­ple are used to see­ing.”

While they will be in their tra­di­tional blue-and-gold uni­forms, band mem­bers will act in char­ac­ter, rather than stay in step and march, to the tune of “Have Your­self a Merry Lit­tle Christ­mas,” she ex­plained.

“We cre­ated a liv­ing por­trait of small-town Amer­ica main street dur­ing the hol­i­days,” she said, adding that groups will cre­ate “lit­tle vi­gnettes like a Nor­man Rock­well paint­ing.”

“It’s very dif­fer­ent than what we’ve done on the foot­ball field,” she added.

The na­ture of the event is dif­fer­ent, she noted. In­stead of be­ing “loud and ri­otous” like at Blue Hens games, this hol­i­day tune made more sense to por­tray as scenes.

“I’m hop­ing ABC broad­cast sees a lot of dif­fer­ent things they can cap­ture, in­stead of just show­ing the front end of the band per­form­ing,” she said.

While this is its first time per­form­ing for the Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade, the band has been in the spot­light be­fore. The group per­formed in the in­au­gu­ral pa­rade for Barack Obama and Joe Bi­den’s first term in 2009 and trav­eled to Ire­land to march in the Dublin New Year’s Day pa­rade the fol­low­ing year.

Be­fore that, the group per­formed for Richard Nixon’s in­au­gu­ra­tion in 1969.

Sarver said the band mem­bers are ex­cited for this next step.

“Band mem­bers tra­di­tion­ally love to travel and per­form. It’s what they do, it’s why they’re in band,” she said, adding that the band just per­formed down­state in a pa­rade last week­end. “They had such a won­der­ful time en­ter­tain­ing the crowd, the kids and be­ing part of the event. It’s kind of what’s in their blood. Per­form­ers love to per­form. Bands are no dif­fer­ent.”

NE­WARK POST PHOTO BY JOSH SHAN­NON

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Univer­sity of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hen March­ing Band will per­form in Philadel­phia’s Thanks­giv­ing Day Pa­rade.

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