Arcanum-Butler band director, Heather Marsh-Myers marches in Tournament of Roses Rose Bowl Parade
ARCANUM – Arcanum-Butler band director, Heather Marsh-Myers, now in her sixth year at Arcanum joined band directors from across the country and Mexico in the annual New Year’s Day Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade.
The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio sponsored the New Year’s Day project. The foundation was created to recognize and carry on the work of the late Michael Sewell who dedicated his life to the school and community music programs in Pickerington and Central Ohio.
“The group was called ‘Saluting America’s Band Directors’,” said Marsh-Myers. “It was started by the Michael’s Sewell Foundation out of Pickerington, OH and it is in memory of Mike Sewell who was band director at Pickerington for many years.”
“They wanted to do something special with the foundation to highlight music education. They put out applications for band directors to be a part of the marching band that would march in the Rose Parade so I applied about a year ago and got accepted to be a part of it. There was about 280 band directors from across the country – every US state was represented and Mexico as well.
“We went over to Pasadena and rehearsed for three days together and then we were able to march and perform in the Rose Parade. It was really cool because we were the first event in the parade to ever have a band and a float combine together as a marching unit.
“The float was really amazing. We had the opportunity to purchase roses to put on the float in memory of former music educators who inspired us so a lot of our float was made up of flowers that the band had purchased in memory or in honor of other music educators which was really cool.
“The Rose Parade committee was really excited about this project, just to highlight education. The theme of the Rose Parade this year was “Believe, Inspire, Achieve” which was based on education – so this was kind of a highlight for them with their theme as well.”
Marsh-Myers enjoyed her time spent in Pasadena while representing her school and her Arcanum band students.
“It was an amazing time,” said Marsh-Myers. “I got to network with 280 other band directors from across the country – it was an awesome day for music education.
“I really feel like we got great media coverage and it definitely was a once in a lifetime event that made me proud to do what I do. I really believe our job is important and music education is important. It was nice to have that highlighted because music is not always something that gets highlighted these days, sometime overshadowed by athletics and other things like that so just to have a moment in spotlight for music education was really special.”
The Arcanum-Butler band director was pleased with the excitement it brought to her students as well as the community.
“My students were incredibly excited, my band families were really excited about the whole thing. Tons of people were tuning in and watching on TV. Our Facebook page for the Band Boosters was just exploding during the parade with people posting pictures trying to spot me on TV. The kids were so excited when I came back, ready to ask me all kinds of questions.”
Marsh-Myers noted Lisa Galvin who arranged music that was performed on TV in the Rose Parade had recently been to Arcanum-Butler to work with the band students.
“We did one of her concert band pieces here with Arcanum High School Band,” said Marsh-Myers. “She came and worked with us just about a month ago on one of the pieces we were playing so it was really cool for the kids to have that connection. They met her. She also wrote the music that I played in the Rose Parade which is a huge honor for her and it was really cool for my kids to have that connection as well.”
Following performing in the Rose Parade, Marsh-Myers had one more highlight while visiting the west coast over New Year’s.
“It just worked out – the cards all aligned that the Buckeyes were playing at the Rose Bowl so I got to go to the game and watch the Buckeyes win at the Rose Bowl which also is an amazing experience,” Harsh-Myers said. “It was just overall an awesome time and I had an amazing experience,”