July 1, 2014

Now hear this: 6 metro-east high school bands to march in VP parade

Six high school bands from the metro-east will march in the annual Veiled Prophet parade at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Louis. A total of 11 bands will compete in the 2014 Liberty Drum Challenge. The winning band will receive $10,000 in cash and prizes.

The metro-east marching bands participating include Alton Catholic, Belleville East, Collinsville, Mater Dei Catholic in Breese, O'Fallon and Staunton.

The bands will be judged at locations along the parade route by judges selected from the band staffs of several midwestern universities. The parade steps off at the Muny on Theatre Drive in Forest Park.

In 2013, Collinsville High and O'Fallon High tied for first place and Belleville East placed third.

In addition to band awards, trophies will be presented to Outstanding Drum Majors, Outstanding Percussion Section and Outstanding Auxiliary.

The Liberty Drum Challenge awards ceremony will be held immediately after the parade in Post Foods Parade Town.


The O'Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers Band Boosters organization will hold a summer festival called the O'Town 5th of July Block Party at O'Fallon Community Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday as a fundraiser for the band's trip to the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Cal., on New Year's Day.

The event will feature a barbecue contest, arts and craft fair, a parade at 9 a.m., car show, music and raffle.

O'Fallon will also have a special guest visiting the band -- the president of the Tournament of Roses, Rich Chinen, who will be participating with the Marching Panthers in the VP Parade and the Saturday parade through O'Fallon to kick off the block party.

Chinen will present the Marching Panthers Band with the traditional Rose Parade flag, which represents the band's prestigious participation in the 126th Rose Parade at a benefit concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Milburn High School auditorium in O'Fallon. The concert will feature the Arch City Brass, and admission is $5 per person.


Martez Agnew, of Lovejoy, was recognized as one of 22 members of the Class of 2014 Farm Credit Agriculture Scholars at a scholarship luncheon last month at Farm Credit Illinois in Mahomet.

Each scholar receives $1,500 from Farm Credit to use toward their agriculture-related college education. Martez will study landscape horticulture at Southern Illinois University Carbondale this fall. Martez is the son of Fredericka Cooper.

Do you have an item for Education Matters or an education-related story tip? We want to know about it. Send your ideas to Jamie Forsythe at or call 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter at @BND_JForsythe.

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