Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Education

Tarpon High band invited to 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

TARPON SPRINGS — They're not your mom and dad's marching band.

The Tarpon Springs High School band doesn't just march. It brings something extra to its ambitious performances — a bit of Broadway, a little Cirque du Soleil.

And because of that, the band has been chosen to march in the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, beating out more than a hundred other bands that applied.

"We're very excited about it," band director Kevin Ford said. "Any time you can provide an opportunity for your kids to perform in front of 50 million television viewers, it's a great experience for them and something to work toward."

The Tarpon band was picked out of more than 150 applicants nationwide for one of 11 performance slots in the 2013 parade, Macy's spokesman Orlando Veras said. Aside from the television audience, roughly 3.5 million spectators line the parade route.

Band members learned the news in a surprise announcement Tuesday night at their annual spring concert. Now there's a banner hanging in the school's front windows, proclaiming the news for all to see.

Tarpon Springs High has long had a championship-level marching band. The school's magnet program, the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, attracts student musicians from all over Pinellas County.

The band is actually called the Tarpon Springs High School Outdoor Performance Ensemble. It has a history of giving stellar halftime performances, winning awards at national band competitions across the country.

"We don't march," Tarpon High principal Clint Herbic said. "We don't go out on a football field and march in circles and squares. We perform and put on a show."

Ford, who has been the band's director for 18 years, added that the students also perform original music.

"We take a Broadway approach to the field," he said. "With the choreography, we try to incorporate elements that you'd see in a stage performance."

One reason the band is performing in the 2013 parade instead of the 2012 parade is to give students and band boosters time to raise funds for the trip. They are accustomed to raising money for travel to places like Atlanta and Indianapolis for competitions, but this trip will cost a lot more than usual.

Tarpon hopes to send 150 to 180 students on the trip at an estimated cost of $350,000.

"Our goal is to take every child," Ford said. "It'd be a shame for anyone not to have this opportunity because their family can't afford it."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Send letters to the editor at tampabay.com/letters.

Comments
Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

Hernando could be next stop for PACE Center for Girls

BROOKSVILLE — The new year could bring about new beginnings for at-risk girls in Hernando County.Pending a vote by the School Board next month, PACE Center for Girls, an alternative education program for middle- and high-school students, could open a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

For Bexley students in Land O’Lakes, math skills go airborne

LAND O’LAKES — At Bexley Elementary School in Land O’Lakes, students are throwing paper airplanes — with the help of a high tech computerized launcher. They’re also bowling — with a little aid from computerized drones. And when they get around to it,...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Proposal to rollback early learning programs could bring Citrus into Pasco-Hernando coalition

Some Florida lawmakers have not hidden their desire to scale back the statewide number of early learning coalitions that oversee child care and preschool programs, including Voluntary Prekindergarten.The state Office of Early Learning has now issued ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pasco-Hernando State College faculty to consider unionizing

Pasco-Hernando State College faculty to consider unionizing

Caitlin Gille grew up in a union household in Wisconsin, where her mom was a long-time teacher in the small city of Wauwatosa, just west of Milwaukee.She was accustomed to seeing educators advocating for their working conditions and pay, having a sea...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is ‘Feminism’

NEW YORK — This may or may not come as a surprise: Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017 is "feminism." Yes, it’s been a big year or two or 100 for the word. In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70 percent over 2016 on Mer...
Published: 12/12/17
‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

‘It’s like an insane nightmare’: Parents question private company hired to drive special needs kids to school

RIVERVIEW — As a foster parent with two sons of her own, Kayla Storey has learned all the tricks to get her kids out of bed and off to school every morning. But this year, Storey says she’s the one waking up every school day with a knot i...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

University of Central Florida Greeks won’t hold social events, serve alcohol for 6 weeks this spring

ORLANDO — University of Central Florida fraternities and sororities won’t host social activities or any events with drinking for at least the first six weeks of the spring semester, up from the two-week ban on alcohol that has been in place in the pa...
Published: 12/08/17

Pasco class notes for Dec. 15

School Calendar• Dec. 22: End of second grading quarter.• Dec. 23-Jan. 7: Winter Break.• Jan. 8: Teacher planning day. No school for students.Arts/Music/TheaterCenter for the Arts at River Ridge Middle High, 11646 Town Center Road, New Port Richey. (...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Amid reports of rapes, beatings, cover-ups, grand jury to probe juvenile justice abuses

Disturbed by stories about the rape of teens by supervisory staff, a pandemic of sometimes savage force, brutal beatdowns ordered by youth care workers and policies that permit the hiring of violent offenders, Miami-Dade’s state attorney wants to kno...
Published: 12/07/17
Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Henderson: Some basic facts about Hillsborough’s teacher pay imbroglio

Hillsborough County’s public school teachers are horn-honking, voice-raising, sign-waving, foot-stomping mad, and I can’t blame them. They are paying for a problem they didn’t create. About one-third of the workforce was expecting to receive a $4,000...
Published: 12/07/17