Former GV band director to march in Macy's parade

Nov. 20—ORWELL — A retired Grand Valley band director may be featured live on national television on Thanksgiving Day.

Tim Carlson, who was Grand Valley High School band director for many years, presently works as a music paraprofessional at the Champion Local Schools and is also on staff at the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony. He resides in Orwell.

He is scheduled to perform in the parade he watched as a child with the America's Band Directors. Carlson said the group is 400 people strong and is scheduled to be the second band in the parade, near the Snoopy balloon.

"It was a family tradition at our house as I was growing up. My mom insisted that we have the television on and tuned to the parade as we were preparing Thanksgiving dinner," Carlson said.

Carlson performed in the Rose Bowl Parade several years ago, and will be performing with the same group of band directors this year. "We have a schedule of rehearsals and performances for the next few days leading up to the Macy's Parade," he said.

The band will rehearse at an armory in New Jersey each morning in order to prepare the marching style for the band and to practice the marching tempo of 2.5 miles an hour.

He said the group is scheduled to perform at the 9/11 Memorial on Monday afternoon and may have other media performances during the week.

"Being a band director is a very stressful and difficult job. Many hours are spent working to build a program and develop players who will not only benefit intellectually and physically, but become better people because of their time spent learning and performing music," Carlson said.

"Even though many of our 400 marchers are retired, we are still able to perform what we teach in school. I am in my mid-fifties and perform better now than at any other time in my life," he said.