Petoskey Marching Band & Steel Drum Band

November 16, 2015

What comes to mind when you think of the words marching band? Be honest with yourself. Think all the way back to your middle school or high school experience. Was being band considered cool? Or was it mainly frowned upon? Thinking way back to my band experience, it no way compares to what I think about it now. Maybe it was just teen angst and the ‘trying to fit in’ that made me think that way. Typically the first thought that used to pop into my head was ‘band geek’. Whether, you would admit it, or not, I bet you’ve heard that term a time or two or even thought it yourself. I begged my parents for a flute in 6th grade. Begged!! I really enjoyed band during middle school. Then, I started highschool and then it was only the ‘geeks’ that stayed in band. I then begged my parents to let me quit. It didn’t work and I had to endure being a band member for several years but at least I followed through with it, something I make my own children do if they don’t like a particular activity.

Grandpa Shorter's Petoskey Bands Fighting Northern Petoskey Schools

(Photos courtesy of Petoskey News Review

Fast forward to present day and living in a new town my ideas of marching band have definitely changed. Maybe it’s because I’m older. Or, maybe it’s because our marching band is a great source of home town pride here in Petoskey. Home of the Fighting Northmen, Petoskey schools are some of the best in our area, offering a wide variety of academics, as well as extra curricular activities. One of the most popular and celebrated extra curricular activities here in the Petoskey area is the Petoskey Marching Band. Being one of the larger school districts in our area, Petoskey Bands have always had an outstanding program. The marching band is currently made up of approximately 600 Petoskey students varying from 6th grade all the way through 12th grade. Petoskey Bands also have separate unique performance ensembles. If a student wants to participate in a certain performance ensemble he or she must also participate in the marching band.

The band practices multiple times a day during the summer and school year, including early morning and late night practices. They often have weekly competitions during the fall months inbetween home football games and partices. This year, they took home first place at all three competitions winning them all! recently had a contest asking who was the ‘Coolest Marching Band in Michigan’, Petoskey residents tried their best but in the end Petoskey came in 4th. I think we all know that Petoskey Marching is still the coolest!! 😉

(Petoskey Marching Band at the Brandon Competition this past fall) 

On top of the Marching Band being pretty cool, the most well known of the smaller performance ensembles group is the Petoskey Steel Drum Band. I’m sure you’ve seen them at various downtown open house events or holiday parades. They are hard to miss and undoubtedly one of the coolest performances to watch. The Petoskey Steel Drum Band is world renowned and often travels around the country participating in various parades and events. The most recent long distance performance was their trip to New Orleans last February for the annual 4 hour long Bacchus Parade during Mardi Gras.

If you’re headed to Chicago in a few weeks for Thanksgiving, they will be performing in the the Festival of Lights Parade in the downtown Chicago Thanksgiving weekend.

– Petoskey Bands Upcoming Performances –

Petoskey Steel Drum Band
Festival of Lights Parade, Chicago, IL 11/19-11/22
Indian River Christmas, Indian River, 11/27
Petoskey Holiday Parade, 11/28
Petoskey Downtown Christmas, Open House 12/4
Harbor Springs Christmas Open House, 12/5
Alanson Christmas Open House, 12/11

Petoskey Marching Band
Petoskey Holiday Parade, 11/28

*Have you seen the Petoskey Marching Band or Steel Drum Band perform? What did you think?

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