Student Story: Charter School Band Brings Beat To Holiday Parades

By: Shauna  Lopez and Michelle Roman, Camden Academy Charter High School

PHILADELPHIA, P.A. — Camden Academy Charter High School (CACHS), part of the Camden’s Charter School Network, finds one of the busiest times of the year is holiday parade season.

The CACHS band has participated in many parades throughout the years, but one that stands out each year is the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Taking a tuba break at the Dunkin’ Donuts Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.

It was cold at 8:00 A.M. on that Thursday morning as the band prepared for the parade. There were a lot of different bands from other places which were practicing as well.

The Camden Academy band members said they felt confident in what they were doing, though they were a bit nervous in the beginning of the parade. The streets were filled with lots of people. 

CACHS band members meet a llama at the Pennsauken Christmas Parade.

During the parade the crowd was dancing and cheering the bands on as loud as they could. The main song that the band played was the “American Spirit March,” a foot-tapping, patriotic themed march by John Higgins, along with the drumline’s cadences. The parade ended approximately around 2:00 in the afternoon.

Camden Academy percussionist and 12th grader Christian Romero, said one of the best parts of the parade was seeing the audience’s reactions to their music. 

“Everyone in the parade was magnificent,” Romero said. “Everyone participated and the best part was seeing that the audience really enjoyed our music. Everyone was very tired by the end, but the long walk was well worth it.”

Another holiday parade that stands out was the Annual Cape May Parade on December 14. Band director Edward Downs said that he was very excited and more than ready for this years parade. Every year the drumline and drill team prepare for the big event. According to Downs around 35 members are marching in the parade. The band members advertise to the school if they want to join the band and come along.

The Cape May Parade is a great opportunity to get community service hours especially if any seniors or bands members want to help hold the sign, be the mascot, or help carry instruments. The CACHS drumline and drill team are very beautifully organized and on point.