What a Great Day for a Parade!

There were larger (and louder) bands marching down Western Avenue on Sunday, March 11, but none of them outperformed the Leo High School Drum Line at the annual South Side Irish Parade.

The parade was something of a public coming-out party for the drum line, which is in its second year as an official Leo activity. Previous appearances were limited to school events, and after months of diligent practice the drummers excelled in all of them.

So when Leo was invited to celebrate its South Side history by marching in the South Side Parade for the second consecutive year, the drum line was an obvious choice to lead the Leo delegation. Under the expert direction of Mr. Heath, a professional who has played with jazz great Ramsey Lewis, the drummers did a superb job, enlivening the Leo procession with four well-organized, well-executed sets. Along with the shouts of “My dad went to Leo” that always greet the Lions’ contingent at this event, parade-goers young and old were inspired to “move to the music” as the drummers performed with non-stop exuberance and coordination for the 12-block duration of the parade.

“It was exhilarating,” Leo Principal Shaka Rawls’ said of the crowd reaction to the drum line’s effort. “We couldn’t have asked for a better representation of Leo. Along with our world-renowned Leo choir, the drum line is giving our students a great opportunity to display their musical talents.”

Rawls, Leo President Dan McGrath, Admissions Director Mike Holmes and Academic Coordinator Jen Fleck joined several alums in marching with a Leo group that numbered two dozen strong. Barney Janecki, a proud, 90-year-old Leo grad from the Class of 1946, headed the alumni contingent for the second straight year.

Under bright sunshine, a good time was most definitely had by all.