“Pride, spirit and hard work produce excellence” was the motto adopted years ago by the Montrose Marching Unit.
And that dedication was apparent as over 100 former MMU alumni marched in the Independence Day parade in Montrose on July 5.
Louise Smith, of South Montrose and former band parent, noted the band’s connection to honoring the heritage of Susquehanna County.
Smith said, “This band, in its totality, not just those who marched (Monday), but all of you, your loved deceased members, and I would include Maurice Taylor, all your music teachers through the years, your parents, all that went into the cultivation of your musical souls culminated in that performance yesterday. And all of it has been such an important part of the history of Susquehanna County.”
Smith added, “All of you who marched (Monday) took on this gutsy project and pulled it off with just an amazing performance, with enthusiasm, and a strength some of you probably didn’t even know you had. You deserve your accolades. And you, Dean Houck, what a legacy! You don’t know how many young people you may have inspired yesterday. Thanks for the beautiful memories.”
Alumni director Dean Houck said, “Thank you to all MMU alumni who participated in the weekend. It was a totally humbling experience for me. I can never express to you all, how much I appreciated your hard work and dedication over the years. That was surely demonstrated in (the July 5) parade. Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart.”
The band and bandfront was met by cheers and tears from the thousands of people who lined the route as they played their traditional parade song, “Salute to the Promised Land.”
Following the parade, the band gathered on the steps of the courthouse for a group photo and chanted, “Thank you, Dean Houck!”
With several hundred people assembled to take pictures of the band alumni, the group played the parade song one final time.
Tuba player Stan Johnson said, “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us. It allowed us to temporarily step back in time and be a part of a dedicated, disciplined, talented and idealistic team supported by a enthusiastic and giving community. It finally offered an appropriate venue for us to express our respect and thanks to Dean Houck for the gifts that he gave to us and that we now share with our own children and communities.”
Montrose parade awards given
The annual Independence Day parade in Montrose, sponsored by the Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs, was held Monday, July 5.
In recognition of the 200th anniversary of Susquehanna County, the theme for this year’s parade was “Celebrating Our Heritage.”
South Montrose Community Church earned the first place Grand Marshall award; second place went to Old Mill Village; the Susquehanna County Dairy Princess float took third; Hunts for Healing placed fourth; Bridgewater Baptist Church earned fifth place; and Montrose Presbyterian placed sixth.
The Ted Bruska Memoorial Award for the entry best depicting the parade theme was given to St. Paul‘s Episcopal Church.
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