TJ’s marching band members celebrate Halloween at Longmont’s annual parade.
Halloween is a time of the year when children and teens alike can dress up and reap the benefits of free candy, and this year was no exception. Denver Citywide Marching Band (DCMB) also took the holiday as an opportunity to showcase some of its talent at Longmont’s annual Halloween parade. Thomas Jefferson’s very own seniors Cassidy Cobb, Jabril Jeylani, Kham-Shem Toure’, and freshman Julia Moir participated in the parade on Halloween morning, furthering both DCMB’s and TJ’s stellar reputations.
The Longmont Children’s Halloween Costume Parade is an annual event, occurring on Halloween and usually leading up to a Trick-or-Treat Street. This parade is a significant event in the Longmont community; as opposed to just watching the parade, community members are given the chance to march with the participating bands. Among the viewers are thousands of children, dressed in their Halloween costumes and eager for the holiday. “Tons of people in the community show up, all dressed up in their costumes,” explained TJ music teacher Robin Johnson.
While the parade began at ten in the morning, the day started much earlier for DCMB members. The participating members had to be on their way to North High School by 6:30 a.m., where they gathered their equipment and headed out to Longmont. Once there, the band members readied themselves and rehearsed shortly before taking their places in the parade lineup. The band played for the entire parade route, and were in costume along with the children. “I enjoyed being able to be in costume instead of being in uniform,” described Moir, “because it wasn’t as regulated and rigid.”
This has been the third year that DCBM has participated at Longmont’s Halloween Parade, and it is not only a treat for the band members, but for the viewers as well. “We’ve already been asked to come back again for next year,” said DCBM director Jason U’Ren, adding, “Of course, I said yes.” Overall, the members’ performance appeared to have exceeded the expectations of the parade’s audience. “I was really proud,” stated Johnson. “There was a man there from the Midwest, and they’ve got pretty strong marching bands in the Midwest – he even stopped the director after the parade and said, ‘That was one of the strongest bands I’ve heard,’ so that was fun to hear.”
Likewise, the overwhelming approval of the band’s performance was especially pleasing to its members. Cobb described, “We got a lot of applause at the end of the parade. A lot of people came up asking where we were from, telling us that we were really good and that we were the best marching band in Denver. They actually said that,” she added, almost in disbelief. Overall, the parade was a success. “Honestly, we had a pretty good day,” said U’Ren. “The DCMB kids were great. The only thing that could have made the day better was if I’d won a couple million dollars in the lottery.”
Longmont’s Halloween Parade provided an excellent opportunity to display the growing talent of Denver’s, and TJ’s, skillful musicians, which will hopefully be continued throughout the year with other events. In fact, Cobb, Jeylani, Toure’, and Moir are already committed to participating in Denver’s famed Parade of Lights. “It is for about 200,000 people in person and another 250,000 on TV,” explained U’Ren of the event. “It’s a tough gig to beat.” Wherever they perform, though, one thing is certain: TJ is home to several talented musicians, and it is critical to give them the support that they deserve as they continue to improve and expand.