Christmas cheer for all to hear: Band of Chiefs march to success


The marching band leads the way in the 2021 Holly Springs Christmas Parade. 2021 marked the first and last year of Christmas parades for many band members.

For the first time in three years, the Band of Chiefs marched in two Christmas parades this past Saturday. The band marched in both the Canton and Holly Springs parades. 

Ninth grader Sophia Morris is a clarinet player who marched in her first Christmas parade this year. Her favorite part of the experience was hearing her sister shouting her name as she marched through the lit-up streets in downtown Canton. 

“It was a little hot and waiting to go was not fun but when we actually started playing, I felt alive. It is a cheesy statement, but it is true,” Morris said. “[The music] was easy and I memorized it fast, so I was happy with it. It also sounded so cool played by almost one hundred people.”  

Twelfth grader and mellophone section leader George Chemmala also marched in his first and last Christmas parade. Chemmala decorated his mellophone along with the rest of the band members and it was a big hit with the band and parade audience.  

“[I decorated my instrument] with garland and bows. Other people—the low reeds—heavily decorated their instruments. Caitlyn [O’Connor]’s instrument was more garland than instrument,” Chemmala said. “Aston [Barr]’s tenor [saxophone] was probably the most decorated using garland, lights, mini hats, bows, bells, etc.”  

Eleventh grader and guard member Ella Stanley enjoyed her first Christmas parade and dancing in front of the band during the parade. Her favorite part was seeing how happy the band made the crowd as everyone marched past. 

“We had a routine that included our pompoms,” Stanley said. “After we did the routine, we were able to wave and say hi to everyone around us!”    

The Christmas parades marked the end of a successful 2021 for the marching band, rounding off several high-place competition finishes.