Mexico Alumni Band and Friends mark 27th year of marching in Mexico Field Day parade

It all started in 1992 with the vision of Matador alumnus, Bill Whaley and a suggestion by then Pulaski High School Band Director, Jeff Manwaring. Jeff had put together a successful alumni band in the APW school district in 1990. When Bill began student teaching in the Pulaski High School in 1992, the two put their heads together and the idea of the Mexico Alumni Band was born.

The two then approached Matador alumni Keith Himes and Hope Lenhart with Bill’s vision. Without hesitation, two more were on board, Keith backing and recruiting band members and Hope recruiting twirlers and colorguard. The enthusiasm of the quartet was palpable. Once in motion, Jeff stepped back and let Bill and his posse run with it. And run they did, straight to a first year march with a band membership of 40. And they kept going, year after year. Some years the band numbers were high and some years the numbers were lower. But they kept marching with their signature song, South of the Border. The song that reaches the hearts and toes of every Mexiconian. The song that was re-written by long time Matador Band Director, Sheldon Blank, and marched to by hundreds of Matadors over his 30 plus year career with MACS.

For 27 years this community has warmly greeted and cheered on this band of 30 to 70 year olds reliving their marching glory days and to pretend they are teenagers again. The band is so very grateful for that, as they truly do love to play ‘their’ music for you and take you on a stroll down memory lane.

Sadly, we lost one of our founding members this spring. Keith Himes will not be marching with us this year. However, we know he will be there in spirit. So when you see that vacant spot in the front row of trombones, it really isn’t vacant. That is Keith’s spot. And he is there, playing his heart out, like always. This year we are dedicating our march to Keith. Remember him fondly when you see him go by. He’s the one with the twinkle in his eye. To you Keith!

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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