Brattleboro board signs off on All-State Music Festival parade

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BRATTLEBORO >> Parents have long made the trek up north for a festival celebrating the most-talented student musicians in Vermont high schools.

Next year, it is Brattleboro's turn to host it.

"There are 400 musicians that come to town and their teachers," Town Manager Peter Elwell said at a meeting Tuesday. "And there's a three or four-day set of workshops that go on."

Families will be coming in for concerts associated with the All-State Music Festival. They'll be eating at local restaurants and renting hotel rooms, Elwell said. And about 80 to 100 music teachers can be expected to do the same.

A parade permit from the town was granted on Tuesday.

Marching bands will take to Main Street on May 10, 2017. The festival always starts that way.

Steve Rice, Brattleboro Union High School head of the music department and band director, said there would be 400 students chosen for the festival's honors ensembles. They'll play in the jazz band, concert band, and orchestra, or sing in chorus.

Even more kids will come to town to march in the parade. The number varies every year, Rice told the board.

"But if you figure 20 to 25 bands each with maybe 40 to 50 students, that's what we're talking about," he said. "Some of that is overlap. Some of the students who are in the festival will also be marching with their bands."

Use of both the high school's auditorium and gym will be necessary to fit the students and spectators.

One of the biggest challenges for having the festival in Brattleboro is finding enough places for the kids to stay, said Rice. Students will stay at the homes of host families.

Rice said scheduling the parade for Wednesday enables the students selected for All-State ensembles to march and not become too tired to rehearse and perform later.

Contact Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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