Three years marching

Lakeside Band DragonCon 2017 II

Lakeside High School marching band continues Dragon Con tradition


 For the third consecutive year, members of Lakeside High School’s marching band donned their uniforms, polished their instruments and marched alongside stormtroopers from Star Wars, Spartans from 300, celebrities and other icons from pop culture.

 Approximately 70 students from Lakeside’s marching band participated in Atlanta’s annual Dragon Conparade on Peachtree Street on Sept. 2.

 The parade—which coincides with the annual four-day Dragon Con festival at the Hyatt Regency—features thousands of cosplayers (people in costumes), floats and participants and attracts an estimated attendance of more than 100,000.

 According to Lakeside High School band director David Fairchild, the parade is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for music students.

 “Part of what I do is give students experiences that will last a lifetime,” Fairchild said. “At Dragon Con, there’s an unbelievably welcoming crowd filled with nothing but positivity and acceptance. This is the opportunity to serve more than 250,000 members of our Atlanta community and perform for people not native to the city.”

 Lakeside High’s marching band was the only high school marching band that participated in the parade for the third year in a row. This year, the band played “Counting Stars” by One Republic and “Fly Me to the Moon,” made famous by Frank Sinatra.

 Past years, according to Fairchild, have included the theme from Mario Bros. as well as “Downtown,” by Petula Clark.

 Fairchild said many participating students enjoy setting up and staging for the event, as it provides ample time for pictures with people dressed as the characters Yoda, Mario, Luigi, Boba Fett and more.

 “Others just enjoy the chance to play on that big of a stage,” Fairchild said.

 Fairchild said many Lakeside High School students and alumni attend Dragon Con and make the experience even more unforgettable.

 “Every year we’ve done it, we’ve had people yell out the years they attended Lakeside High School,” Fairchild said. “It helps students really feel connected to the history of the school and the biggest event in our city.”

 According to Fairchild, the 1.1 parade route is considerably short for marching bands. Even though the parade is considered “extra duty” for the band, he said the 70 students that participated were all volunteers. The few students that did not volunteer were going out of town for Labor Day weekend.

 “This is a very fun parade to be in,” Fairchild said. “The crowd is great. It’s the biggest part of the convention. It’s perfect.”

 Fairchild said the Dragon Con parade coincides with a function of the band’s overall mission as it relates to Lakeside High School: good, positive publicity.

 “One of the great things and big jobs of any marching band at any school is to be a vehicle for positive news and positive [public relations] for the school district,” Fairchild said. “We should be an uplifting part of the school and our community. We feel that we’ve accomplished that. We saw more people in this one parade than all our annual football games, concerts and performances combined!”

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