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Baldwin band will stroll in New York City parade

| Sunday, March 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

A splash of purple will proceed through the green-infused streets of New York City on Monday, when the Baldwin Highlander Marching Band performs during one of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day parades.

More than 100 members of the Highlander band will march in the parade along Fifth Avenue, from 44th Street to 86th Street.

It starts at 11 a.m. and is broadcast live online.

“It should be an awesome experience for our kids — a once in a lifetime experience, to be able to march down the streets of New York, past Central Park,” said band director Greg Steele.

Organizers expect crowds of more than 250,000 to line the parade route to watch the 150,000 participants, who include performers and athletic teams from Ireland and Spain.

High school bands participating include Montour High in Robinson and some traveling from Florida and Minnesota.

Luke Barone, 16, a Baldwin High School junior and a drum major in the Highlander Marching Band, said New York City is “big, exciting and fun.”

“I'm really excited,” Barone said. “I think it's a neat opportunity.”

This is not the first large performance for Baldwin's Highlander band, which will play its rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” The band was in the 2006 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City and the 2012 National Memorial Day parade in Washington.

Band members will wear their purple uniforms because “we're there to represent Baldwin,” Steele said. “I'm sure there will be enough green around.”

He applied for the band to perform to couple with a trip the band intended to make so that students could attend “Newsies” and “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway and visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Sept. 11 Memorial.

“We try to make our trips be an educational experience, as well as have a unique performing opportunity,” Steele said.

The band took a bus to New York on Friday night and will return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Stephanie Hacke is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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