Medina seeks big turnout from alumni in marching band for Memorial Day parade

File photos by Tom Rivers: Alumni in the Medina March Band, celebrating their 50th year, make their way down a packed Main Street during the Memorial Day parade on May 29, 2017.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 April 2022 at 7:49 am

MEDINA – Former members of the Mustang Marching Band will celebrate the band’s 55th anniversary this spring with a special appearance by the Alumni Marching Band during the Memorial Day parade on May 30.

The Alumni Band first met to perform five years ago to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, said Alana Koneski, vice president of the Alumni Band Committee.

Former members are being asked to participate with the band to march in next month’s Memorial Day parade.

The Alumni Band Committee has been meeting for several weeks under the leadership of Greg Nellist (1975), president; Koneski (1973); Sue Squires (1982), treasurer; and Dave Leonard (1993), secretary. Also on the committee are Janet Smith (1969), Jeff Pask, (1981), Shelly Smith (1984) and Ben Zakes (2019).

“This is a plea to get alumni members to register ASAP and not to procrastinate, because the deadline is May 1 to order tee shirts,” the committee said in an e-mail.

Wendy Hall Scharlau, Class 1991, joined the Medina Alumni Marching Band during the parade that included 168 participants from 47 different classes.

Registration forms are online at under “Alumni.” Cost which includes a tee shirt with the member’s year of graduation on the back is $25. Payment can be made by Venmo or sending a check to Sue Squires.

Plans to date include a meet and greet at 7 p.m. May 29 at Sacred Heart Club, and practice at 10 a.m. May 30, followed by a picnic at 2 p.m.

The Alumni Band will line up at 10 a.m. Memorial Day at the Pickle Factory on Park Avenue. Their performance will feature three patriotic songs – “America,” “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Nellist stressed it is not necessary to play an instrument to march with the band.

Jim Steele

The Alumni Committee is also urging a great turnout of alumni, not only to participate again, but to recognize and honor band director Jim Steele, who has announced his retirement at the end of the year.

“As a director and educator, Mr. Steele has worked to instill inspiration and dedication in all of his students, and during his tenure recorded an impressive history of decisive victories in the Small School I Division of the New York State Field Band Conference,” the Alumni Committee said.

Joseph McKain, founder of the Mustang Marching Band, has also been asked to participate, because he played such a huge role in the band program, said Koneski.

The 2017 performance of the Alumni Band saw close to 100 alumni participate in the parade, with several others attending the meet-and-greet on Saturday night. It is their hope to exceed that number at this year’s gathering and celebration.

All former band members are asked to help by contacting their classmates, section members, friends and former band members to make them aware of this event and encourage them to join in the festivities.