The McClain High School Marching Band and the McClain Marching Tigers and Tigerettes were some of the more than 100 organizations that participated Tuesday in the 2022 Findlay Market Opening Day Parade near Washington Park in the Over-the-Rhine district of Cincinnati.
The annual event marked its return this year, featuring Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin as grand marshal, even though April 12 wasn’t technically opening day for the Major League Baseball (MLB) season. The annual event, which traditionally celebrates the first game of the season for the Cincinnati Reds, was postponed because of a player lockout due to contract negotiations. It was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19.
It is the first time the McClain Marching Tigers and Tigerettes have been a part of the parade since 2017.
After applying to be part of the parade at the beginning of the school year, the band was confirmed for the spot once the MLB ended its lockout.
McClain Band Director Blayne Weddington said the band has participated in the parade five times, and this was the first time she has led the effort.
The 96 student members of the band performed the school’s fight song, another song called “Sonic Boom,” and “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley.
“I think it was nice to get out and do something out in the public after these couple years of being in COVID and not being able to go perform as much as we used to, so it was just nice to get out and play for the community,” said Weddington. “I think my students really enjoyed performing in downtown Cincinnati because we don’t get to do a lot of performances in the city, so I think that was a really fun experience for them.”
For the most part, the band was already prepared for the event. “We used a lot of material that we used during the football season, so a lot of it was review, but we had a practice the day before the parade inside to review and go over the music and the drumline cadences and things they needed to know,” said Weddington. “I’d say most of our preparation happened in the fall when we were in marching band season.”
“It was really a great experience,” she added. “It was a good time to go out and enjoy each other and make some music for the city of Cincinnati.”
Reach John Hackley 937-402-2571.