MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE — Pictured is the Springville-Griffith Institute High School marching band. Photos by Dave DeLuca.
SPRINGVILLE — It is one of the longest running pageants of its kind, in New York state.
The Pageant of Bands has been taking place in Springville, for the past 51 years. This local parade started in 1963, under the direction of Springville Band Director Gerald DeLisle. The year before, DeLisle had taken Springville-Griffith Institute to the Gorham Pageant of Bands in central New York.
According to DeLisle, S-GI had such a great showing at the pageant, that the school took home the first place award and also received the Grand Achievement Award.
Springville’s success at the Gorham Pageant gave DeLisle the idea to begin a similar pageant, in Springville. The Springville Kiwanis Club, whose motto is “Serving the children of the world,” has cosponsored the pageant, along with the school, since its first occurrence, in 1963.
“Our Springville Kiwanis Club is the driving force behind [the] pageant and their No. 1 goal is to support kids,” said current S-GI Band Director Joe Gervase. “It is great, every year, coming down Main Street, seeing our community together in support of kids and music.”
This year’s Pageant of Bands kicked off on May 17, with regional jazz ensemble competitions at the S-GI High School.
SEE THAT GIRL — Megan Bailey, a West Valley Central School senior, is pictured, waving to pageant viewers.
On the following day, Springville hosted concert band, color guard and percussion competitions, featuring schools from all over Western New York.
PUT YOUR RIGHT FOOT IN — The Springville-Griffith Institute Middle School marching band leads the march, down Main Street in Springville.
On Saturday afternoon, area high school bands began their march toward Main Street, for the official start of the parade.
Each marching band was judged on its marching technique and musicianship. Judges critiqued the bands, as they marched through a 300-foot section of Main Street. Approximately a dozen bands, from neighboring schools within the regional area participated, in the competition.
Charter School had the highest score, during the parade, racking up a 91.1. Geneseo came in second place, with a final score of 89.6.
Springville’s music education went viral when, in 2008, the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation named Springville one of the best communities for music education in the country.
S-GI provided a live Web stream of the Pageant of Bands, on the school website, for those who were unable to attend the festivities.
“It provides a goal for many of our area bands to aim for, each year,” Gervase said, about the pageant. “Having a competition for our students helps raise the bar for their achievement and often raises the level of performance and musicianship.
“Also, it brings so many schools together, into one festival, where we can all see what our bands are doing and often times, learn from each other,” he added. “For the Springville community, it brings together many business sponsors and community volunteers to do something great, for the young people of our area.”