State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Committee  |  September 2019

Photos by Shutterstock & Ram McDonough

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JOIN US!

There are few things better than a parade. The smiles, the music, the laughter and community pride. We warmly invite you to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime state-wide parade! On this page you will find the parade route map as well as the best places to watch. 

STATE OF MAINE BICENTENNIAL BAND

Maine's Bicentennial celebration deserves a very special band! We are proud to announce the creation of the STATE OF MAINE BICENTENNIAL BAND. We invite musicians from across the state to join us for the Bicentennial Parade. Simply complete the participation form below.

Please note: All band musicians must be 13 years of age or older; memorize the musical selections provided by the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Committee; and attend both a regional and a full-group rehearsal prior to the May 16, 2020 parade performance. These mandatory rehearsals will include both marching practice and music practice. Dates and locations will be announced in February along with additional information. BAND APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 28, 2020.

2. SUBMIT YOUR PARTICIPATION FORM
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THE MUSIC (All pieces must be memorized by all band members)

REHEARSAL INFORMATION

Saturday, March 14 

UMaine Orono

Noon - 6:00PM

Band(regional) and full colorguard

Saturday, March 28

University of Southern Maine Gorham Campus

Noon - 6:00PM

Band only; gymnasium and field house

 

May 2

Noon - 6:00PM

Pre-parade rehearsal; date & location TBD; full band & full colorguard

Saturday, May 16

10:00AM

Maine Bicentennial Parade

**Additional details & exact directions will be posted soon

Rehearsal Day Schedule

Noon-1:00: Introductions, review marching basics

1:00-1:15: Break

1:15-3:00: Sectionals (Band, Percussion and Colorguard will practice separately)

3:00-3:15: Break

3:15-5:15: Full group rehearsal in place

5:15-6:00: Full group rehearsal with marching

 

Please bring your instrument, a copy of the music, snacks/water and your enthusiasm.

 

Percussion instructor Jim Hager will contact all percussion participants to arrange for use of marching percussion equipment.

 

All other band participants are required to bring their own musical instrument; if you need to borrow a marching percussion horn, please contact the band director via parade@maine200.com.

 

Colorguard director Janaye Holt will contact all colorguard participants with additional rehearsal information. If you have colorguard specific-questions, please send them to parade@maine200.com .

John Neal, of Greene, will direct the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Band.

Band members should read ALL notes below.

Be sure to check back often for updates. 

Important "Notes"

from Director Neal

Neal holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in conducting performance from the University of Connecticut. 

A piano student from the age of eight, his teachers include Hildred Curtis Fowler, Natasha Chances, Rosemary Platt, Neal Larrabee and Chiharu Naruse. 

He continues a career in music education which began in 1978 and includes teaching positions at Van Buren District Secondary School, Edward Little High School in Auburn, the University of Southern Maine, Bates College, Oak Hill High School in Sabattus and his current position as Director of Music at the Snow Pond Arts Academy in Sidney, Maine. 

Neal's students have won numerous awards including First Place in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, DC with the ELHS Band in 1988, and a Carnegie Hall performance in New York City with the Oak Hill HS Voices of Color in 2003 among many others; several of his students have gone on to careers in music education and performance. 

Neal was recognized by the Maine Music Educators Association in 1994 as the Maine Music Educator of the Year, and by WCSH6 and the Maine Education Association as an “Inspiring Educator” in 2016.

Neal has performed as pianist and music director with the Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theater, the Monmouth Community Players and at numerous other local venues and high school productions since the 1980s. His first CD of original electronic music "Fox Island Afternoon" was released in 1997; his original electronic ballet "Vasalisa", based upon the Russian legend of the same name, was released in 2008.   Both CDs are available on iTunes and at www.cdbaby.com

We are honored to have Neal as the director of the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Band and encourage all musicians in the state to embrace this opportunity to march and perform under his direction in this once-in-a-lifetime special event.

Jim Hager, of Gorham - Proud to be Maine's Bicentennial Band Percussion Instructor

Jim Hager is proud to be the Percussion Instructor for the Maine Bicentennial Marching Band. His experience includes marching, teaching, and judging at the local and national levels.

Jim’s career started in Boston with his CYO parish band, learning to play clarinet. A few years later, he transitioned to percussion. With ambition to compete at the highest level of the activity, he joined the 27th Lancers Drum & Bugle Corps (Revere, MA) and completed 4 years of competition at the DCI level. He was then asked to join the Lancers percussion staff and taught for 4 more years. Some of the highlights include participating at the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid and a 2nd place finish at the DCI World Championships in Birmingham.

While teaching, Jim also earned his percussion judging credentials with the Massachusetts Judges Association, and judged at the local and national levels throughout New England and North Carolina until 1987. After relocating to Gorham, ME in 1988, Jim resumed judging for MBDA and NESBA.

In the spring of 1993, the 27th Lancers formed and alumni corps that would perform at the 1994 DCI World Championship in Foxboro. The corps would field over 280 members, and Jim returned as a percussion instructor and played in the tenor section, while his wife Michelle marched in the Lancers Rifle Line.

 In the fall of 1994, Jim was hired as the Percussion Instructor at Marshwood High under the direction of Dave Stebbins. In 1995, with support from the MBDA Board of Directors, he was named Treasurer of the association and led the effort in getting MBDA its 501(c) 3 non-profit status. Jim continued at Marshwood until early 2000 and then resumed judging for MBDA until the 2013 season.

In 2014, Jim was elected to the Massachusetts Drum Corps and Music Educators Hall of Fame for his contributions to the marching arts.

Jim resides in Gorham with his wife Michelle.  He is a former 4-term member of the Gorham School Committee and is currently a 2-term member of the Gorham Town Council.

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