On Wednesday (Nov. 11), the Sussex Tech Raven Nation Marching Band will join in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City. Click the link above for a Q&A with director Harvey Bullock about the parade, as well as the band's upcoming performance during halftime of the Gator Bowl, in Florida.
On Wednesday (Nov. 11), the Sussex Tech Raven Nation Marching Band will join in the Veterans Day Parade in New York City. Below, director Harvey Bullock took time out to talk about the parade, as well as the band's upcoming performance during halftime of the Gator Bowl, in Florida.
Name Harvey Bullock, Jr.
Favorite song "An American Salute (When Johnny Comes Marching Home)"
Favorite composer Robert W. Smith
Q: What does it mean for you to be able to participate in something like the NYC Veterans Day Parade of Pride?
A: This is a dream come true for me. It is an honor to represent the state of DE in such a prestigious parade that honors our armed forces. It really means more to me because my wife is a veteran of the Air Force. I am also excited for our students to experience participating in a parade of this magnitude. It will be a life long learning experience for everyone involved.
Q: How do you go about preparing the band for such a large venue, and do they have experience with this type of event?
A: This is the first time that this band will be performing in a national parade. We have been using each football game and local parade performances to prepare for this parade. The students have been working hard since the end of July in preparation for our national parade performances.
Q: The Raven Nation Marching Band will be getting some more national exposure later this football season, as part of the Gator Bowl halftime show. What is involved in prepping for that performance?
A: The band has been preparing since the last week of July for our Gator Bowl performances. Our current field show that we perform at our football games is show that we will perform at the field show competition in Jacksonville. The winner of that competition will have the opportunity to perform part of their show during the pre-game festivities of the Gator Bowl game. The half-time show will feature a mass band performance by all of the bands in the parade. Bowl Games of America sends us the music for that show. We rehearse and memorize the music before we leave for Florida. Then we have a mass band rehearsal in Florida with all of the other groups to prepare for the half-time show. The theme for the Gator Bowl mass-band performance is "Sunshine," featuring songs such as "Let the Sunshine In," "I'm Walking on Sunshine," "Here Comes the Sun," and "Good Day Sunshine."
Q: Which are you more excited for, the trip to New York City or getting to see the Gator Bowl?
A: Honestly, I am equally excited about both parades. Anytime you get the opportunity to participate in an event that honors the men and women who fight and protect our country you cherish that moment. Subsequently, when you finally get the invitation to participate in a parade that you've watched for years and years every holiday season on television, you can't help but be excited. Our program this year has been truly blessed, and I am very proud of our students. They deserve to participate in both of these parades, and we will make sure that we represent the state with pride, dignity, and excellence.
Q: What are some other upcoming events/fundraisers/concerts?
A: We are currently in our last fundraiser for the year, selling poinsttias for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our choir will be performing their winter concert on Dec. 15. The marching band will be participating in the following parades: Dec. 2 - Milton; Dec. 3 - Georgetown; Dec. 5th - Millsboro, Harrington, Seaford (all in one day); Dec. 7 - Rehoboth; Dec. 19 - Bridgeville. Then we leave for the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., on Dec. 28.