High school band finds time to shine in MU homecoming

Despite a busy schedule, Hickman Marching Band finds that the MU parade offers a chance for a unique community performance.

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MU’s homecoming is traditionally thought of as an event that celebrates students who have come before us and reminds current students of the rich culture of which they are a part. It’s not only past and present MU students who partake in the celebrations.

On Oct. 20, the Hickman Marching Band will be one of several high school and middle school bands playing in the annual MU homecoming parade.

“We always enjoy participating in the parade,” Tom Sweeney, associate director of band at Hickman, said. “It is a local parade and gives us one of our largest audiences. The Columbia community brings lots of energy that isn’t there in a marching competition.”

There will still be plenty of competitions. The Hickman Band competed at the Park Hill District Marching Festival on Oct. 13 and will have to balance the parade with a band competition held in Warrensburg later the same day. Most high schools have to work with a busy schedule in order to fit in their competitions and the parade. For many, though, the joy of performing for a local crowd makes the workload worth it.

“Usually it’s pretty enjoyable because the people on the sides are cheering and a lot of them are from Columbia so they know Hickman,” Matthew Barnes, drum major for Hickman High School’s band, said.

The local community loves the added spirit that these high schools bring to the parade. By having non-university bands play in the parade, high school students get a chance to show off their skills in front of friends and family as well as MU students and alumni who may be alumnus of these same schools. Many high school students feel that there is a deep connection between the city and the college, which is exactly what homecoming is trying to highlight.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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