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Iowa band directors march in 2022 Tournament of Roses parade with other music educators

Paying tribute to other music teachers
Posted at 6:40 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 19:40:44-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Tournament of Roses parade is a beloved tradition and Iowans who watch it will see some familiar faces.

Three educators from Iowa will march in the parade's first "Marching Band of Band Directors," including Abraham Lincoln High School Band Director Taylor Matuszeski, Treynor Community Schools' Jeff Schoening and Ottumwa Community School District's Pam DeBoer are all proud music educators who are tipping their hats to those teaching the gift of song.

"We're wearing what I call the 'cliche band director uniform.' It's a Harry Dinkle outfit, which is who the float is built around. Grey slacks, blue blazer, red tie; so kind of a red, white and blue look. We're playing patriotic music that will fit the look of the band," Schoening and DeBoer said.

"The slogan is, 'We teach music, We teach life.' So there's between 250 and 300 directors that are a part of this group that have been selected to represent the music directors or band directors across the United States," Matuszeski said.

This is the first time a band will be the musical backdrop to a float, one of their songs also holds an Iowa connection.

"Actually very Iowa because '76 Trombones' was written by Meredith Wilson," DeBoer said of the famous composer from Mason City, Iowa.

It's humbling for these band leaders to put themselves in the shoes of their students, getting their chops back to playing condition.

"A lot of walking, a lot of getting in shape, it's a five and a half-mile parade. For me, I haven't been in a parade as a performer, I think the last time was 1984, which was my senior year of college," Schoening said.

"It's been a really good reminder of what I ask my students to do on a daily basis," DeBoer said.

For these three, this isn't just crossing an item off a bucket list, it's placing their life's work on a national stage.

"You have to prove to them every day that you have to make it worth their while to come into your room and make music and have fun doing it and make it worth their while. I hope it shows everybody across the country that teaching, in general, is a great calling and in my opinion, band directing is the highest of that calling," Schoening said.

Their group is 59th in the parade order and will be in the second hour.

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