The Grand Alumni Band started as the Monmouth High School Alumni Zipper Band back in 2013, but the group’s creator Jim Johnson wanted to expand their numbers and reach to surrounding counties. After recruiting strictly Monmouth alumni band members its first two years, the Grand Alumni Band raised their numbers, says Johnson:
“We expanded it out to schools in the area from United, Roseville, West Central, Alexis, Aledo; we’re trying to get everybody involved that want to go ahead and participate in marching down the parade with us,” he said.
The group of former twirlers, musicians, flag corps, and drum majors have made the trek down Broadway as part of the Prime Beef Festival Parade the last four years to honor past and present band directors such as: Lester Municky, Ed Scheckler, Myron Meketa, Joy Boostrom, and current Monmouth-Roseville High School band director Kyle Barshinger.
Along with marching down Broadway for Year 5 on Sept. 5th, the group also plans to introduce a concert-style performance at Monmouth Park this fall during the week of the Prime Beef Festival. This will give alumni that might struggle with mobility a chance to showcase their band talents in a more stationary setting. The group encourages everyone interested to reach out – even if you do not have the instruments you used to play. They practice every other week at the First Lutheran Church in Monmouth.
“We’re doing something new so we can get – not only the twirlers, the musicians, the flag corps members, to participate – but to just have that comradery and go down memory lane,” Johnson stated.
To find out more, call Johnson at 536-3041 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
written by Jackson Kane