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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. 

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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 parade performance. These mandatory rehearsals will include both marching practice and music practice. Details are included below. 



(All band members must memorize)


In these instructional videos, Director John Neal shows band participants how to execute the marching commands, with band member Alison Neal demonstrating the motions.


The State of Maine Bicentennial Parade has been rescheduled to August 21, 2021!

Band participants are asked to attend two full-day rehearsals and one evening rehearsal to prepare for the bicentennial parade. Full-day rehearsals will break for lunch from Noon to 1 PM. Participants should bring a bag lunch or they can purchase lunch from nearby restaurants.


Bring a copy of the music for both pieces (and the cadence for the drum line) as well as sunscreen and bug spray. Wear comfortable shoes – ideally the ones that you plan to wear in the parade.


On parade day, please wear blue jeans, black socks and black shoes, with your Maine200 shirt and cap. (Every marching band member will receive their shirt and hat at the Friday, Aug. 20 rehearsal, to wear in the parade.) If you have not yet provided your shirt size, please email ASAP.



The final bicentennial band rehearsal will be Friday, August 20, 2021 from 5:30-8:00 p.m. at Edward Little High School in Auburn, 77 Harris Street. We will be marching and performing the songs from memory, with a few breaks in between. Water and snacks will be provided as usual.


When you arrive to Edward Little High School, you will need to enter the campus on Harris Street. The GPS may tell you to enter from Western Ave onto Highland Ave, but that entrance is closed for the next two years due to construction.


There is a driveway loop with parking spots up by the main entrance to the building - you will see a bell tower and the flag pole. You can use the entrance to the right of the flag pole. Here's a link to a map of the campus.,-70.2360927,654m/data=!3m1!1e3


Additional parking is available along Forest Ave if needed, which is accessed through the Harris street entrance.  


We will be using the gymnasium and parking lot (weather dependent) for marching practice. When you enter the school go straight down the hallway on the right and you will find the gym is at the end of the hallway.




If you have not already picked up your shirt and hat for parade day, please be sure to see Kristen to collect those at this rehearsal.

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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

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.

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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.


Jamie Cole will direct the State of Maine Bicentennial Parade Color Guard

​Jamie Cole, instructor for the Maine Bicentennial Parade Marching Band Colorguard, has been involved in color guard since 2002 when her spinning career began at Leavitt Area High School. After high school, she volunteered with the color guard program at Leavitt before taking the color guard instructor position at Edward Little High School in 2011.  When she is not at practice, she works as a full time teacher at a private school for children with developmental disabilities and most importantly as a mom to three kids.

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