This Monday, January 21, Members of Colorado's Mile High Freedom Band will be joining the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to perform in the Presidential Inaugural Parade. Chosen from more than 2,800 marching band organizations across the country, this will be a celebrated second round for the musicians, who performed in President Obama's 2009 Inauguration parade as well.
"It's such an amazing reflection of the GLBT community when we assemble; there are members of all ages, races, physical abilities, levels of musicianship," says Mile High Freedom Band's Clark Vander Broak. "The mass band is a microcosm of the diversity of the GLBT community, and it's a tremendous expression of our unity and ability to accomplish something powerful together."
Vander Broak, who plays Trumpet in the inclusive marching band, will be joined in Washington by fellow musicians Juan Hernandez on piccolo, Chuck Varin on tuba and color guard Rice Majors,who will be carrying the Colorado State flag in the parade. They will join the 215-piece LGBA band, which is made up of fellow marching bands, orchestras and cheer squads from across the country.
As part of the the larger national Lesbian and Gay Band Association, it is currently the only group of musicians representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities in this special event. As a group, the LGBA has received considerable written support from the likes of Senator Al Franken (MN), Senator Claire McCaskill (MO), Congressman Ed Pastor (AZ) and dozens of other Senators and Representatives regarding its inclusion in Monday's historic parade.
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Locally, the Mile High Freedom Band produces a handful of concerts every year, focusing on open, family-friendly events. "We always find that music is a powerful bridge builder to a place of common interest and shared enjoyment with those within our community and the broader community at large," says Vander Broak.