Freedom Festival Parade

posted Jul 5, 2013, 2:07 PM by Danielle Dinkelman   [ updated Jul 5, 2013, 2:07 PM ]
My husband and I decided to brave the crowds and take the kids to the 4th of July parade. My favorite part, of course, was the marching bands. This is a huge event, so there were several bands that came from all over. Foremost in my memory was Maple Mountain High School, which I had the privilege of working with during their marching band camp last month. They are a small band but they are run by a passionate director, and my good friend, Chris Wilson. He has instilled a passion for greatness and perfection in this band and it came through very impressively in their performance yesterday. They looked sharp and they sounded great. It's not the numbers that make the band, it's the leadership and also the commitment to greatness of each musician. Way to go Maple Mountain! 

We also heard from Springville High, Spanish Fork High, Riverton, Nephi, and American Fork. There is unfortunately a stark contrast between most of the northern groups (AF & Riverton) and the southern groups (Springville and Spanish Fork). The bands are smaller here in the southern part of the valley, and they lack the energy and precision of the northern groups. I was actually quite impressed with Nephi's band. Nephi is a small rural town south of Utah Valley altogether. Overall I walked away with a greater resolve to get involved with these high schools in Southern Utah Valley. Music is such a wonderful thing to be a part of and I want to help more of these programs thrive. I am not suggesting that I can turn these programs around single handed, but I do believe that as one private teacher starts to make a difference, others will follow, and the enthusiasm of directors, parents, and students will grow until we can have marching bands and music programs that we are proud to call our own.