Mire’s marching band gaining exposure

Mire Elementary’s Kaitlyn Barron directs the school’s band as they perform “Jambalaya” in preparation for their performance in Branson, Missouri as Band Director Michael Magee, back left, looks on.

Band to perform at Rice Theatre prior to Branson show

The Mire Elementary Marching Band seems as though they are used to being the “first.”

For most people, they are the first elementary school marching band that they ever heard of. They were the first elementary school marching band to have performed at Disneyworld (which they have done twice). And they will soon be the first marching band (which includes high school and college bands) from Louisiana to perform at the Cooper Theatre in Branson, Mo., which is known across the nation as a top location for country music performances.

“We didn’t even have to audition,” said the band’s director, Michael Magee, who has been at Mire Elementary for three years. “They saw a tape of us at Disneyworld on YouTube and called us up.”

According to Magee, the band will be playing a 20-minute performance that will have “a patriotic, Cajun theme.”

Performing with the band will be famed country musician Clay Walker. Apparently, Walker was wanting to perform with the band and sing songs that are quite familiar to people from south Louisiana.

During their practice Tuesday afternoon, the band performed an impressive rendition of Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya.” Among the other songs they will be performing that are a part of Louisiana’s music history is “You Are My Sunshine,” which was written by former Governor Jimmy Davis.

It is apparent when observing the band’s practice that all the accolades they have received have been a result of hard work.

“We’re definitely going to enjoy the experience and have fun,” said Magee of the upcoming Branson performance. “But we have to work really hard to be ready for the show.”

Magee alluded to this during Tuesday’s practice when he told his band “we need to be peaking by the time we get to Branson.”

In what may be considered a warm-up to the Branson performance, the Mire Elementary Band will be performing at The Rice Theatre in Crowley on May 4. 

When speaking with Mire Elementary Principal Melanie Venable, her appreciation for what Magee has accomplished since he began teaching at the school is evident.

“Mr. Magee does a wonderful job,” she said. “There are very few elementary bands that are as accomplished as the one we have here.”

Acadia Parish residents may be familiar with Magee from watching him perform with the band Nik-L-Beer at different venues throughout the parish, including a performance at the Rice Festival last year.

Several area businesses are helping to raise money for the Mire band, including Chili’s in Crowley on April 24; Buffalo Wild Wings in Lafayette on May 5; Texas Roadhouse in Lafayette on May 21; and Raising Canes in Lafayette on May 5. 

Contact the school for further details.

Howell "Howie" Dennis is the news editor for The Crowley Post-Signal. He can be reached at howie.dennis@crowleytoday.com or 337-783-3450.

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