Sept. 16, 2016
little old-school and new-school hip-hop, with tunes from the Sugar Hill Gang
and Kanye West, while the Crispus Attucks Marching Tigers will perform a medley
of Jackson 5 tunes during the annual Circle City Classic Parade.
The highly anticipated event, a precursor to the annual Circle
City Classic football game, will step off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the
corner of North and Pennsylvania streets. The parade features bands from high
schools and colleges across the country.
Both schools have a long history of performing in the
parade, which celebrates the pageantry of marching bands and the rivalry
between football teams at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
In true show or HBCU style, the bands will bring a few of
their friends along to add to their performance.
The Spirit of Broad Ripple is a 90-member group featuring
student musicians, the Fire & Finesse Dance Team, the drumline and color
guard. The Marching Tigers, a nearly 200-member group features student
musicians, the Tigerettes dance team, JROTC and the school’s cheerleading
Lamar W. said his first time performing in the Circle City
Classic Parade is forever etched in his memory.
“That’s an experience that I’ll never forget, no matter how
long I live,” said the senior at Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School and
bass clarinetist with the Marching Tigers. “You’re going down the aisle and you
see all of those eyes staring at you and your friends. You’re scared and excited,
but you can only go back to what you’ve been trained to do for the past three
Since 2012, the Marching Tigers, under the direction of Director
of Bands David Ebersole, has participated in the Circle
City Classic Parade. The Spirit of Broad Ripple, under the direction of
Band Director Tom Ewigleben, has been performing in the Circle City Classic
Parade off and on for the more than 10 years, said John Hague, assistant
director of bands and a magnet professional at Broad Ripple Magnet High School
for the Arts and Humanities.
“It didn’t become a regular thing until five years ago and
we’ve done it every year since,” said Hague. “We’ve even performed at the
(Circle City Classic) pep rally on Friday night at White River State Park.”
Performing along the asphalt stretch of the parade route
from North and Pennsylvania streets to North and Meridian streets, to a crowd
of thousands, in front of television cameras and among some of the best high
school and HBCU bands in the country, could be intimidating to many.
Lamar, who joined the Marching Tigers in 2013, considers it
an honor and privilege. “It blows your mind that you’re in (the parade); it’s
like an honor bestowed upon you,” he said. “It feels great. There’s not a word
that describes what it really feels like.”
“It really is amazing,” said Ebersole. “The crowd is really
hyped and everyone’s shouting and screaming. There’s also a point where the
band stops and turns toward the judges and does a performance, which is unique
That short one-minute performance for the judges turned into
a first-place win for the Marching Tigers in 2013. According to Hague, the
Spirit of Broad Ripple has placed second in the competition.
The Circle City Classic Parade is usually one of the first
of the season for both bands — and one of the biggest.
“It’s usually the first parade of the year that we do and
it’s a big deal because the parents get to see them on TV and we have a lot of
family members that show up to cheer them on,” said Hague.
While fun, Ebersole believes the parade is also important
because it helps students build character and self-esteem. This year, the
Marching Tigers will also unveil their new band uniforms.
“It brings a lot of pride to our students and to our school,”