Marching band preps for Mardi Gras parades

Students will march in four parades this Mardi Gras season

By Erick Garcia | Section: Feb 5th, 2010 February 5th 2010 Print Edition, Issues, News
The band practices twice a week by walking three miles. Shockwave, pictured, will be marching with them in Mardi Gras for the first time.

The band practices twice a week by walking three miles. Shockwave, pictured, will be marching with them in Mardi Gras for the first time.

The Tulane marching band will perform in its fifth Mardi Gras season. The marching band has appeared in Mardi Gras parades since 2006.

It will perform in four parades this year, beginning with Krewe of Olympia Saturday in Covington. Next week, it will perform in Krewe D’etat, Thoth and Rex, with new songs in their lineup such as “TUMB Swing” and “Thriller,” along with old favorites like the Tulane fight song and “Roll On, Tulane.” Along with their repertoire of songs, Tulane also stops their march and plays “Happy Birthday” for every birthday they are notified about throughout the parade.

“Each year, [the parades] get better,” Marching Band Director Barry Spanier said. “Upperclassmen are better prepared, better conditioned. [We also expect] a lot more Saints themes in floats.”

Program Coordinator Patricia McWhorter said this year’s performance will feature more variety than previous years.

“With people in the parade only hearing one of our songs when we pass them, we still put in more songs for our players and for variety in the entire parade,” Spanier said.

The Shockwave Dance Team will also perform in the parades. The marching band will be tossing out green and blue doubloons in celebration of Mardi Gras.

Building up to Mardi Gras, the marching band has done more conditioning and rehearsals this year to better prepare for the performance.

“We march three miles during rehearsal to build up the stamina to finish the parade,” freshman Kyle Gordon said.

Tulane’s marching band has performed in Mardi Gras since 2006, the first Mardi Gras after Hurricane Katrina.

“When we went out there, the crowd just loved us. After Katrina it was great to see something not covered in a tarp or covered with mold,” McWhorter said. “Some of the floats had a tarp over them and one was a float of a duct-taped refrigerator.”

After its first Mardi Gras, Tulane marching band was praised and thanked for its performances. From thank-you letters to children who the band played “Happy Birthday” to, to LSU alumni thanking them for their performance, Tulane’s marching band has made its mark on the carnival season.

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