Conant orchestras march in Septemberfest parade
For the first time in Conant history, the school’s four orchestras marched in the Septemberfest parade over Labor Day weekend. Headed by Conant’s orchestra teacher Devin Godzicki, the orchestras had been preparing for this event since the beginning of the school year.
“I wanted the students to have a chance to become more involved with their community and share their music. And I thought the parade would be a unique event that we haven’t done before,” Godzicki said.
The orchestras have been busy learning songs from Disney classics “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid,” memorizing them, and practicing marching while playing their instruments.
To prepare, the orchestras first practiced playing scales while walking around the orchestra room. After learning all the notes and rhythm and being able to play the piece with the sheet music, they then turned their stands around during rehearsal to test how far they could play the piece from memory. Several days before the parade, Godzicki brought every orchestra outside to play while marching around the building.
Godzicki said, “The biggest challenge was figuring out how we were going to get the cellos and basses involved because they can’t really march.” The solution was a mic’d trailer that the cellos and basses were able to stand and perform on.
Many orchestra students played their instruments, but others also engaged the audience by creating posters to hold up during the parade or by throwing candy into the crowds. Jessica Hathaway, ‘22, a bass player in the orchestra, said, “I enjoyed seeing everyone cheering for us because it was something new and different.”
Students and spectators found it to be a successful event. Shiv Prasad, a local who watched the parade, said, “I really enjoyed it. It was unique and I’ve never seen string instruments marching before.”
Godzicki believes that “[This experience] will be valuable because we’re sharing our talent and passion for music with the people who live here, family and friends and strangers.”