Medina alumni band members put on a show for 50th reunion

Photos by Tom Rivers: Wendy Hall Scharlau, Class 1991, joins the Medina Alumni Marching Band during today's parade that included 168 participants from 47 different classes.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 May 2017 at 4:30 pm

Joe McKain, retired Medina band director, is pictured with sisters Debbie Stack, left, and Shelly Smith.

MEDINA – They marched, played music and smiled along the parade route, getting loud applause and shouts of, “You still got it.”

The alumni members of Medina’s Marching Band were nearly 200 strong for their 50th anniversary reunion celebration, capped with a performance in Medina’s Memorial Day Parade.

Joe McKain started the program in 1967. At the time there was little money for the program, and no drums, flags or equipment – or instructors.

“Orleans County has a hub for marching bands when I was hired in 1967,” McKain said today.

Holley was a perennial state champion, and Albion and Kendall also had strong marching bands.

Medina started in 1967 with 24 kids. The band would grow to 150, and played in Washington D.C., the Kentucky Derby, Toronto, and the Indianapolis 500 track, which is 2 ½ miles. The band became a strong source of pride for the community, and remains so.

McKain joined the alumni band in the parade today. Their participation is a tribute to the program and strong ties they feel for Medina, McKain said.

The band makes its way down a packed Main Street.

McKain addressed the band before they marched down Park Avenue, through downtown on main Street and down East Center Street to State Street Park.

“Your presence here is obviously an honor to me,” he said. “But as far as I’m concerned it’s also a tribute to the program that you helped build in your own special way.”

McKain thanked the community and the students for their support of the program. He also praised the Medina Band Boosters which started in 1968 and helped take the band to new heights.

“It took years and years to build it up,” he said about the program.

Traci Phillips Culver, Class of 1987, enjoys being part of the reunion parade.

The horn section is loud and enthusiastic.

The drumline acknowledges a cheering crowd.

Jim Steele, current band director, watches the alumni band. He offered lots of applause as the group passed by on Main Street.

Julie Waters and other alumni head down East Center Street and are close to the finish at State Street Park.

The alumni band and current band (behind them) march and perform in the parade.

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