DeRidder High School band director Aaron Theall had the distinct honor of representing his school and students when he appeared in the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.
“The experience was absolutely amazing. Getting together with directors from around the country and instantly becoming an ensemble was quite an experience. We did receive some rain on our trip so we had to be willing to work quickly and efficiently and go with the flow when things changed. Having a bunch of adults who are used to running their own programs come together and shift back into a student mentality was quite a feat to see,” Theall said.
The marching band of directors was about 300 members strong for the parade. It featured band directors from across the nation led by a custom-designed float conveying the theme “We teach music. We teach life.”
The float and marching band were the first of their kind, and were part of a project sponsored by the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, which salutes America’s band directors and promotes the positive impacts band teachers can have on students’ life and education.
Theall has been a band director at DHS for 10 years, and has served as director of bands since 2017. He graduated from LSU in 2012 with a bachelor’s in music education, and serves as the interim executive director for the Louisiana Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.
“Music teachers teach music, but we also teach through music. It is rewarding to share a love of music and marching every day, and I was honored to represent DeRidder High School in the first ever marching band of band directors for the Rose Parade. It was an unforgettable experience and a highlight of my career thus far,” Theall said.
Written by Pamela Sleezer