Gunn’s Freshman Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble combined to march and perform at the 92nd annual May Fete parade on May 3. The collective bands played a variety of pieces—from current genres to classics. The parade began at 10 a.m. in downtown Palo Alto and finished at 1 p.m. in Heritage Park. It aimed to provide an opportunity for children to get together and enjoy themselves while celebrating the appearance of spring with activities such as the float contest and creative costumes.
Children and adults could also attend a fair after the parade finished in Heritage Park. The parade had many activities such as free game booths hosted by local businesses and nonprofits, food trucks, The Museum of American Heritage with its collection of antique cars, Stanford bands, live music from Palo Alto School bands and the Stanford Marching band.
The trio of Gunn bands has been performing at the May Fete parade for at least 25 years, according to band teacher Todd Summers. “Every year the Gunn band is awesome,” Summers said. “They look great, sound great and have fun.”
The band generally spends a little bit of class time on the May Fete pieces for a few weeks before the parade. “We traditionally always play the ‘Gunn Fight Song’ and the ‘Hey Song’,” Summers said. “This year we added ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’ and people loved it. There were kids along the parade route that sang along with us as we marched by.”
According to Summers, his favorite part of the parade was having all three Gunn bands combine into one large band with the cheerleaders and orchestra carrying flags. However, there were some things he disliked. “The May Fete parade is the first Saturday of May every year,” Summers said. “There is an SAT test on the first Saturday of May every year, so the juniors taking the SAT never get to march that year.”
Overall, Summers believes, the parade was enjoyable for everybody, and was a huge success.
Sophomore saxophonist Ajay Raj believed the atmosphere contributed to a better experience while playing. “It was great marching with my fellow students and playing great music,” he said.