PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — At Churchill Downs, they are getting ready for Saturday’s running of the Kentucky Derby.
Meanwhile, in the Butler County community of Harmony, the Seneca Valley High School marching band is preparing to march Thursday through Louisville, Ky.
The young musicians, some 200 strong, have been invited to take part in the traditional Pegasus Parade.
“We’re not just representing this year’s students,” Marching band Director Bob Matchett said. “We’re representing the years and years of students who have gone through the program, and still come back and visit and still are proud of what they were a part of.”
They’ll follow in the footsteps of a Seneca Valley band that marched in that same parade, six years ago.
That group set the bar really high. Matched against 16 other bands, they were crowned Grand Champions. When their buses brought them home, they received a hero’s welcome.
But this year’s seniors say they’re equal to the task.
“It’s not something you always get to say,” says drum major Marykate Neiderriter. “We’re in parades, but you never can say you were a drum major as a senior in high school, and marched in the Kentucky Derby parade. It’s big.”
Fellow drum major Brendan Linto agrees.
“Going down to Kentucky,” he says, “and being in a very long parade, and a very important parade, as part of America’s history, is definitely an exciting thing.”
But does he have any tips on the Saturday’s Derby winner?
“Oh, I have no idea,” he said with a laugh. “I really don’t watch the Derby itself. But good luck to all participants”