SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 15, 2013

Headed for Fifth Avenue

Danvers band will march in NYC St. Patrick's parade

When the Danvers High Falcon Marching Band performs at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City tomorrow, they will carry a tune from Red Sox Nation straight down Fifth Avenue.

On their last rehearsal yesterday before they ship out to New York early this morning, the band pumped out the Dropkick Murphys’ hit “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” over and over.

Red Sox fans will recall that former closer Jonathan Papelbon would charge out of the bullpen to the song, which has since become an anthem for the Hub.

“I kind of love the fact that we are from Boston so we are playing, like, a Boston song in New York,” said senior Terry Sweeney, who plays tenor saxophone.

The marching band will be performing in an Irish heritage parade that started in 1762 — 14 years before the nation’s independence, according to the parade website. It’s billed as the world’s largest.

The band will rotate two songs as it marches, the Dropkick Murphys’ song and a tune from the blockbuster “Titanic,” called “An Irish Party in Third Class” by Gaelic Storm.

“While it is really repetitive, and you get so sick of the song, you have to remember that every new song you do, you are in front of a new crowd,” said Laila Najia, leader of the clarinet section.

If you won’t be in New York this weekend, you can watch the parade on NBC from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the Falcons stepping off at 11:50 a.m. They are expected to be in front of the cameras by noon, band director Ron Parsons said. About 170 band members in grades eight through 12 are expected to march.

“It’s not going to hit me until it’s actually happening,” said senior Aly Banerjee, who plays alto sax.

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