White planning to participate in Pasadena Rose Parade

BELPRE — Robin White, elementary band director and assistant band director for Belpre City Schools, will join band directors from across the country next Jan. 1 in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade.

A custom-designed animated float will lead a “marching band of band directors” up to 300 strong from across the country.

The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio, is the sponsoring organization behind the project. The foundation was created to recognize and carry on the work of the late Mike Sewell, who dedicated his life to the school and community music programs in Pickerington and the Central Ohio area for more than 38 years.

The parade entry will convey the theme, “We teach music. We teach life.” No matter where they teach and work–public and private schools, colleges and universities, the military, community bands–dedicated music educators and leaders work long hours to not only teach and direct music, but to teach life itself. Student lives in particular are positively changed by a motivational leader who taught, inspired and mentored them.

White has been with Belpre City Schools for 18 years and has worked with the music department for the past six years. After funding cuts eliminated the elementary music department for several years, White was asked to take the position and rebuild the program. He now is the Kindergarten through fourth grade general music teacher and gives every child an opportunity to perform throughout the school year.

He is also the beginning band director for fifth and sixth grades and annually has more than 50 students in his band programs. For the last six years, he has also been the assistant marching band director for the Pride of Belpre at Belpre High School. The Belpre Marching Band has grown from a membership of low twenties to a 56 member award winning band.

White works closely with the rest of the staff to make sure the band continues to grow and succeed. To help fund the trip, White has set up a GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-mr-white-march-in-the-2021-rose-parade.

Complete details on the project are available on the Saluting America’s Band Directors website, BandDirectorSalute.org.