Two local band directors to march in bucket-list national parade

Local News

(WKBN) — Usually band directors are the ones who organize steps that a marching band takes, rom the littlest detail on what yard marker to stand on.

This January, East Palestine’s and Southern Local’s band directors will be the ones taking the steps.

“I play French horn, but I’m going to march with Flugelhorn,” said East Palestine band director Jennifer Mollenkopf.

“I’ll be playing clarinet,” said Southern Local’s band director Emily Bowling.

It started when Mollenkopf found out a group was putting together a marching band of band directors and said all you had to do was apply to be in it. Afterward, she contacted Bowling.

“When we both got selected, we decided to travel together, room together and do the entire parade together,” Bowling said.

They’ll be joining over 200 other band directors from all over the country. Mollenkopf said she saw her daughter marching for the parade in 2019 as part of the Ohio State Band.

Now, these two will be part of the parade, which is a little over 5 miles long.

“I’m a little nervous. I’m not as young as I used to be, so marching in the parade in itself is a tall order,” Mollenkopf said.

“I’m approaching it the same way I would approach a road race, a long race like a half-marathon and just kind of building on mileage to get ready for that,” Bowling said.

Bowling said the Tournament of Roses Parade is a bucket list item for a band director.

“There’s two big parades here in the U.S.: The Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving and the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1,” Bowling said.

“The Rose Parade is always considered the grand-daddy of them all, so I think, outside of the Macy’s parade, the most parade out of any parade on TV,” Mollenkopf said.

Both band directors said they’d like to go to the game if Ohio State plays in it.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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