SELMA – Rotary Marching Band Festival organizers say it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
After the parade in Downtown Selma and before the field show competition at Staley Stadium on Oct. 28, Parade Chairman Jeff Shepard says he’s noticed changes during the decades he’s been involved in organizing the event.
“It’s always about the kids but it’s changed dramatically over the years. It used to be the bands were more formal and just marching. Now, they’re having more fun and playing different music than just John Phillip Souza marches,” Shepard said. “The judging has changed, the crowds have changed, but at the same time it’s all the same. It’s parents and grandparents coming out and watching their kids and Rotary putting on an event that everybody enjoys.”
The theme this year was Dreams of the Future and the grand marshal was former Selma Enterprise newspaper owner Jim Brock. Brock also served as Rotary president from 1978-79 and on the boards of the Selma Chamber of Commerce and Selma Hospital Foundation. Brock currently resides in Palm Desert with his wife, Susan, but returns to Selma to attend the Rotary Band Festival each year.
Current Rotary President Harold M. Phillips welcomed the visitors to town and said it takes a communitywide effort to make the festival happen.
“The whole city is involved to make this possible. The other service clubs in town, our public works department, our school district and citizens of Selma all work together to make this event a success each year.”
From the field show competition that evening, Dinuba High School won the grand marshal trophy and Redwood High won the grand sweepstakes and tournament championship earning the high music, high visual and high effect awards.
“The Field show is a completely different competition,” Shepard said. “They play more contemporary music and get a lot more creative with that since they put a pit in with stationary and electronic instruments. The best part is the awards at the end when you see how excited they are to win. It’s really a competition.”