Marching bands are a fixture at the Lebanon Strawberry Festival Grand Parade.
Janice Jackola and Tracy Krebs would like to bring a new marching band to this year’s festivities. They are working to organize the Sugar Vibes Reunion Band.
Jackola, the co-owner of Sugar Vibes and The Cellar in downtown Lebanon had been thinking about the possibility of creating an alumni band. Her enthusiasm for the project grew when she saw the One More Time Around Again Marching Band at the Portland Rose Festival parade.
“I went to that and I’m like ‘Oh my gosh. That’s awesome, there it is,’” Jackola said. “Standard TV and Appliance has been doing this marching band for like 20 years. There were a couple hundred people in it. That’s what sealed it. I didn’t know they were doing that.”
The marching band will not be limited to alumni of Lebanon High School. Anyone with an interest in joining the band is welcome.
“They could be new to town and if they play a horn or flute and want to be in the marching band, we don’t want to limit it. If they did twirling or flagging,” Jackola said. “Tracy thinks I’m crazy, but I’m shooting for a hundred (members). Even if we get fifty, if we get a hundred, great, and we’ll just build on it from there. It’s going to be fun.”
There will be a $10 entry fee which will help cover the cost of providing matching shirts for all members of the band.
Jackola is hopeful the band will be able to begin practicing in late April. Band members who live out of area will be sent the sheet music so they can begin practicing.
The band will be under the direction of Krebs, who led the Lebanon Middle School band program for 27 years and the Seven Oak band program for four years.
Krebs said it takes a few weeks of practice for former band members to get back up to speed, but it is possible.
“When I play … I have to start about a month, month and a half early, just to start practicing, start getting back in the flow. And boy, I’m tired,” Krebs said, adding that for those who haven’t played in years he would recommend they start out by inspecting their old instruments. “I’d say get it out, make sure it works. That would be the first thing. Second thing is, get out your beginner book and start renewing.”
He would love to see some of his former band members get their instruments out of the closet and join the band. He thinks they would enjoy making music again. He estimates that he had over 6,000 students in his band programs over his three decades as a teacher.
“It’s unbelievably rewarding because you have so many people who want to do something positive. They want to have camaraderie, they want to do a good thing, they want to do something for other people and they want to get back and meet people they haven’t seen for a while,” Krebs said. “It’s a number of things that are all good.”
He would like the band to learn two songs this first year: “Soul Man” by Isaac Hayes and David Porter and “Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” by Gloria Estefan.
“They’re simple and fun,” Krebs said.
Ideally, Jackola would like the band to march in the Lebanon Strawberry Festival and the Sweet Home Sportsman’s Holiday parades.
If the current situation with the COVID-19 quarantine makes it impossible for the band to participate in this year’s festivals, the idea will live on. Jackola and Krebs say that will just give them more time to put a band together for next year.
To learn more about the band visit the Sugar Vibes Facebook page or visit sugarvibes.com.
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