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Waukesha North band to march in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, drum major wins scholarship

School Zone

The Journal Sentinel education reporters offer news and notes from their beat

Nov. 24, 2010

By Becky Vevea of the Journal Sentinel

Nov. 24, 2010 0

Amidst the excitement of marching in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, one Waukesha North marching band member got an extra surprise: a $5,000 scholarship.

Julie Mullen, 17, a senior and one of four drum majors, was chosen as this year’s recipient of the Bob Hope Band Scholarship Award, designed to honor one outstanding band member and school band program participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“As far as the award goes, I had no idea who was going to be the winner. It’s very exciting,” Mullen said. “For one thing, it’s awesome to be part of the Macy’s parade, but we’re also getting the chance to do some touring and see some shows.”

The Waukesha North marching band has been in New York City since Sunday preparing for tomorrow’s performance and sightseeing. This is the band’s third time in the parade, with performances in 1999 and 2004, as well. North is the only band from Wisconsin marching this year.

In addition to preparing for the big event, each of the 12 high school and university bands marching in the parade nominated one member of their band for the scholarship competition. Once nominated, each nominee wrote an essay about how their values and attributes match those of Bob Hope: musical ability, leadership initiative, sense of humor and a strong commitment to community service.

Mullen received her award Tuesday night at the band director’s reception. Waukesha North’s marching band will also receive $5,000, which Director Greg Richlin said would be used to purchase something for the department in Mullen’s name.

The Waukesha North marching band is scheduled to rehearse at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday before lining up for the parade. They are scheduled as the third band and will likely be on the NBC broadcast around 10:15 a.m., Richlin said.

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