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RCHS band plays before more than 1 million in country’s 2nd largest St. Pat’s Day parade

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The Roane County High School Marching Band recently performed in the 189th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah, Ga.

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Of the 33 bands in the parade, the RCHS band was selected to be the featured award band representing the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.

The band played “God Bless America” as it marched over three miles through the squares of Savannah and along the Savannah River.

More than 1 million people lined the parade route, and the crowds cheered the band’s performance. The parade attendance was expected to be the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the U.S.

Savannah’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was 200 years ago in 1813. The Savannah Parade is the second largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the U.S.

The three-hour parade had more than 310 units, including U.S. military divisions, award-winning bands and the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

Participating bands included the 282nd U.S. Army Band of Fort Jackson, S.C.; The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps of Fort Myer, Va.; U.S. Coast Guard Pipes and Drums, Norfolk, Va.; and Irish Air Corps Pipes and Drums, Dublin, Ireland.

Band members and chaperones also had the opportunity to tour historical Savannah and Charleston, S.C., eat at the Pirates’ House associated with Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” and enjoy the stunning azaleas and greened fountains in Forsyth Park.

The band also visited a pre-Revolutionary War plantation at Wormsloe, was taught to fire a cannon at Old Fort Jackson, toured the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum, and danced on a paddle wheel boat cruise on the Savannah River.

At Tybee Island, the band ate seafood, listened to a Caribbean band and spent a few chilly hours at the beach.

Roane County High School Band is directed by Zack Williamson, assisted by Joel Tillman.

The band has 165 members this year and is expected to grow to almost 200 members next year. Grand Champions of the 2012 Alcoa High School Band Festival, the band’s motto is, “Superior in All We Do!”

The band’s next public performance will be at 2 p.m. April 28 in the Roane County High School gymnasium.