The Islands and Herschel V. Jenkins High School Marching Bands (among others) will perform in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Thursday, March 17 as it weaves through the squares of downtown Savannah.
Melvin Lewis became band manager for Jenkins High School in October 2019. Lewis, like much of the band, has never performed in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but is thrilled with the opportunity.
” It feels good ! My senior students participated in the parade three years ago, but my 9th, 10th and 11th graders have never performed in this parade,” Lewis said. “I think there’s some nervousness because the parade is so long, but there’s a lot of excitement because they actually have a chance to perform.”
Since 2010, Emily Graham has been Group Director of Islands High School. In 2013, the islands formed their marching band and have been participating in the parade ever since.
“It’s a great energy to play in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s the biggest crowd of the year. We like to play in the parades, but on St. Patrick’s Day everyone is there for the festivities and they really get into the music. It’s fun to see people dancing while we play,” Graham said.
As this is the first parade in two years, Graham said his students were excited to perform.
“It was really difficult not to play together. So I’m thrilled that this year we were able to play throughout football season and the Veterans Day Parade. It’s been a few years since we’ve had to do St. Patrick’s Day, so that’s a big deal,” Graham said.
For the students of the Island Marching Band, being able to perform in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is not only a chance to show the crowds the fruit of their hard work, but also a way to come together as a community.
“I wanted a sense of community going into high school, and I thought marching band was the best way for me to be around people who love doing what I love,” said Kamyrn Clark, senior clarinetist and drummer. -major for Islands High. School marching band.
Clark has been playing the clarinet for seven years and participated in a St. Patrick’s Day parade before it was canceled for the past two years. This will be Clark’s last major performance with the band before she graduates from high school.
“I’m thrilled to end my high school band career in such a great way,” Clark exclaimed.
Avie Ignacio is a sophomore at Islands and part of the group’s color guard. Ignacio joined the group in May 2021 and started learning flag work in July. She said she was proud of her progress, stressing that being in color guard takes patience, skill and determination.
“I always knew St. Patrick’s Day was a big day for Savannah, and for me to be a part of it is an incredible opportunity. It’s my favorite thing about being in a place full of celebrations,” Ignacio said. .