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The Pride of the Island

From Mercer Island to Macy’s

In the competitive sphere of Mercer Island High School (MIHS), there exists a harmonious oasis: the MIHS Band. More than just a musical assembly, the band stands as a testament to the resilience, unity, and spirit of its members.

For countless students, the band provides solace amidst the rigors of academic pressures. As Elena Lill, one of the drum majors, eloquently states, "When everything is going badly, you still have the band." It’s a rock, a grounding force, in the whirlwind of high school life.

The MIHS Band program prides itself on its inclusive nature, inviting members from all musical backgrounds. The philosophy ignites in fifth grade, fostering a passion for music that intensifies with each subsequent year. A prime example of this is the annual "All Island Band Night", which unites students from grades 5 through 12 in a joyous musical celebration.

The anticipation is palpable for the upcoming October 13th parade. Coinciding with the homecoming game, this event also serves as a pivotal dress rehearsal for the band's distinguished performance in the renowned Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This isn't merely about MIHS, but a representation of the entire Mercer Island community in front of an audience of 27 million viewers. This parade through town, immortalized through the keen lens of Jim Jantos, celebrates the band's dedication, unity, and vibrant spirit.

Behind the scenes, ensuring the band's story is relayed and revered is Martha Brant, a seasoned journalist with a knack for community building. While she manages the broad spectrum of media relations, Ian Henry from MI School District adeptly coordinates with KIRO-TV. Together, they ensure the enchanting story of the MIHS Band reaches the masses.

Leslie Kinder, the vigilant Band Booster leader, encapsulates the deep-rooted community spirit of MI. It's a regular sight at games: parents in the stands cheering fervently for the band, as they do for the athletes. This harmonious intertwining of the athletic and arts departments, especially the symbiotic relationship between the band and the football team, is quintessentially MIHS.

With a robust lineup of 227 high school members and a sprawling program comprising over 650 members, the MIHS Band epitomizes a straightforward philosophy: "Get them early, keep plugging away, keep inspiring." A testimony to this is the narrative of a young boy, utterly mesmerized by the "Trombone suicide" routine at MIHS. This spark in fifth grade propelled him on a journey that culminated in him becoming a section leader in the trombone section years later.

In the heart of MIHS, where academics might wear a competitive mask, the band stands as a beacon, proclaiming that music, unity, and passion are universal. Soon, the nation will be privy to the collective heart and soul of Mercer Island.

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