Conant orchestras win award at Septemberfest parade
All photos taken by Maria Rimando
The Conant orchestras marched in the Septemberfest parade and won the Chairman’s Choice Award over Labor Day Weekend. This is the first time the orchestras have marched in the parade since 2019 and is the first time they have entered the parade competition.
“I wanted them to have the opportunity to be seen by our community in another way than just a performance in an auditorium, and to also continue to cultivate music within our community,” Conant’s orchestra teacher Devin Godzicki said.
“I am so proud of everyone in the fact that we spent several weeks preparing for this, and that hard work obviously was recognized,” Godzicki said. “When we won the award, I was over-the-moon ecstatic.”
The orchestras had been preparing to perform arrangements of “Blinding Lights” by the Weekend, “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, and the “Game of Thrones” theme song since the beginning of the year.
Godzicki said, “The first time we marched we memorized only two songs, but this time we memorized three, and they were a little bit more complicated as well.”
In addition to playing their instruments, students also created posters to hold up during the parade and threw candy into the crowds. To add a twist on a typical Labor Day parade, the orchestras also threw an unconventional item into the crowds: ramen noodles.
“I was part of a Fourth of July parade over the summer, and my sister-in-law got a bunch of ramen for that and people were freaking out in excitement,” Godzicki said. “I thought it would be fun to bring that to our community. Also, it’s a savory option instead of only being candy. I feel like it’s a nice option to give something a little different.”
Yuuki Sato, ‘23, valued the excitement of performing for the community in a different capacity. “I liked the fact that it was a whole new experience,” Sato said. “It’s fun to do it with friends and see a lot of faces, especially the ones you recognize.”
For Godzicki, a highlight of the event was the support from the community for the orchestras. “We had parents helping in the parade, but there were a ton of parents that showed up to cheer on the sidelines. People in general getting excited about orchestra, especially little kids, was really neat.”
Sato found the event to be enjoyable for both the orchestras and the community. “We had fun, and the committee and community could see that. It makes me feel good.”