The Jordan Elbridge Marching Eagles will travel to Annapolis, M.D. Friday to compete in the USSBA National Championships. Members of the marching band range from sixth to twelvth grade, ages 10 to 18. Of its 70 marchers, 48 are in their first or second year.
On Sunday the band will compete against marching bands from at least 13 other states, with 26 marching bands in its class. Other area marching bands traveling to Annapolis from the region include Central Square, Cicero-North Syracuse, Liverpool and Victor. These are national class bands, and have members in grades nine through twelve only.
The marching Eagles are in their third season under the direction of Tom Gegenheimer. Parent involvement in the band is a must; without them, this trip would not be possible. Assistant director/treasurer of the marching eagles Marianne Herne, fundraising chairperson Connie Drake, head chaperone/pit construction/pit crew leader Tom Lamoureaux are just a few. Without these parents, we, the marching eagles would not function. These parents, along with many, many others, help make our organization what it is today.
Vicki Jewett and Judy Strazzere have not had children in the marching Eagles since 1993. They continue to be a part of this organization for the love of the kids. They are at practice every Monday and Wednesday, and have traveled with the kids as chaperones, along with performing other important tasks such as Dome chair and Band Booster roles. Judy now watches as her grandchild Marissa, a member of the JE Marching Eagles colorguard, follows in her mother's footsteps as a marching eagle. This is what the JE Marching Eagles, and marching organizations in general, are all about.
Each child spends countless hours of practice as individuals, sections and as an entire group to work hard to make their show the best it can be. Through many different fundraisers from candy bars, pancake breakfast, spaghetti dinners, fruit sales, Dome events and even bottle and can drives, the students earn money towards their assessments. This enables the band to function, buy props, and take this well deserved trip.