Band Directors to be Recognized in the 2021 Rose Parade

Mike Lawson • News • November 4, 2019

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The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio, is planning to salute band directors with an animated float leading an unprecedented marching band of band directors from across the country in the Tournament of Roses 2021 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

The foundation was created to recognize and carry on the work of the late Mike Sewell, who dedicated his life to the school and community music programs in Pickerington and the Central Ohio area for more than 38 years. The parade entry theme is “We teach music. We teach life.” According to the project planners, most people who have been led by a band director will say that his or her life was positively changed by a motivational leader who taught, inspired and mentored them.

The music for the New Year’s Day 5.5-mile parade route will be directed by well-known music educator and innovative band director Jon Waters, who will also direct rehearsals in Pasadena. The music arrangement is being done by Bob Thurston, a published composer, former high-school band director and retired Air Force staff arranger.

In addition to marching in the Rose Parade, participants will receive three or four nights’ lodging at a Pasadena-area hotel, local bus transportation to all events, breakfast at the hotel, an evening banquet, a ticket to Bandfest, a tour of a float-building factory, music arrangement, direction and rehearsal for the parade, and a commemorative parade blazer. Optional seminars for CEU credits are planned. Qualified individuals will be chosen nationally based on required band instrumentation, the geographic location of the applicant and the date of receipt of the application by a committee of the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation.

Interested parties can get complete details, pricing, and application information at

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