September 21, 2018

IPS All-City Band

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT — Alex Warren, band and choir director at George Washigton High School, directs members of the school band who will also perform with the IPS All-City Band during the Circle City Classic Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22. 

When the Circle City Classic Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, throughout the streets of downtown Indianapolis, it will be the first time the IPS All-City Band will perform during the annual celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

The parade is just one of this weekend’s festivities connected with Circle City Classic, a football game that pits HBCU teams against each other. This year’s matchup is between Howard University and Bethune-Cookman University.

Featuring student musicians from Arsenal Technical, Crispus Attucks, George Washington and Shortridge high schools, the 60-plus members of the All-City Band are ready to show that they can hang with the parade’s other musicians — including those from both universities.

“The kids are all pumped up about it; we’re all really excited,” said Alex Warren, band and choir director at George Washington.

“This is a big deal because it’s our first time performing in the Classic,” said Mark B., a junior at George Washington. “I’m a very confident person. I believe in our band. I believe in what we can do, and I know we’ve got this. All-City will be awesome.”

“It definitely means a lot playing against college-level bands, especially HBCUs,” said Ali M., a George Washington senior who’s been playing in the band since 7th grade.

And they’ve been preparing for this experience. On Thursday, George Washington students practiced under the scorching rays of the hot, late afternoon sun. With sweat dripping from their faces, they went through breathing exercises and worked until the sound was perfected.

In addition to the IPS All-City Band, color guards from both Crispus Attucks and George Washington will be part of the Classic parade. IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee will also participate.

John Hague, director of bands and orchestras at Crispus Attucks, said the All-City Band is a cross section of student musicians from all four high schools — not a representation from all student musicians. In the past, the band only came together to perform during the Indy 500 Parade but wanted to expand to make it a yearlong effort.

Circle City Classic Parade is the first event in this new plan.

As the band plays, Hauge wants the audience to see “one IPS family that’s proud to be public.”

Circle City Classic Parade

10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 22

Downtown Indianapolis

The free parade Includes celebrities, floats and marching bands. Nearly 100,000 spectators watch the parade wind its way through the streets of Downtown Indianapolis.