The Lanier High Orchestra, under the direction of David Metrio, and the Lanier Middle Orchestra, directed by Carolyn Alford, converged to perform while marching in the 2017 Suwanee Fest Parade on September 16th. Nearly one-hundred-seventy students memorized popular fiddle tunes such as Cripple Creek, Yankee Doodle, and Bile Them Cabbage Down to play for parade goers.
Mr. Metrio, who fondly remembers marching in the parade, was excited to revive the tradition in our cluster. His middle school conductors, Ms. Sarah Black and Mrs. Amy Clement, have continued marching with their students ever since.
Parents brought donuts and helped blow up balloons while students prepared to march. With the help of Dr. Peter Lemonds, GCPS High School Orchestra lead teacher, Mrs. Shawn Morton, GMEA District Thirteen Orchestra Chair, and Mrs. Lori Guidi, retired Lanier High conductor, the students completed one final run-through before the start of the parade.
When the parade began, two students, carrying a banner, were followed by Dr. Reuben Gresham, Lanier High principal, and Ms. Brittany Haddock, an assistant principal at Lanier Middle. A pickup truck followed, carrying the conductors, who kicked off each round of tunes.
The students marched about one mile down Main Street, to Buford Highway, and around the back of Suwanee Town Center with their balloon-decorated instruments, fiddling and handing out candy. The performance was a huge success, and the generous help of conductors from across the county was a celebration of community, exactly what Suwanee Fest promotes.