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Viewpoint: RHS Marching Band deserves our pride and thanks

At age 159, Rosemount is one of the oldest communities in Minnesota. Even so, it gathers much of its strength from its young residents. We are about to celebrate another great accomplishment by those young people, and the entire community is invited to take part.

The city will co-host a send-off event for the Rosemount High School Irish Marching Band on Saturday, Nov. 18, and it will be an event you won't want to miss. It's just before the students, nearly 300 strong, head to Manhattan to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They will carry our community's name and reputation for excellence to an audience of millions in person and more on TV around the world.

Rosemount's band has set the pace for musicianship over the last several years. Again this year, the Irish Marching Band won the state championship. And it placed ninth in a national competition in Indianapolis last month.

Band members' continued work deserves our pride and our thanks. They bring our community's name to a national stage, as they did in 2014 when they marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade in California.

These national performances are the payoff for long hours of practice. It requires a lot of energy for not just rehearsals but also for the organizational tasks and fundraising needed to mount these winning performances.

We can be proud that our band families and other residents contribute to these causes in a big way. As one of the band's directors was quoted in Minnesota Monthly magazine, "The community here is over the top." Publicity like that is a great boost for our efforts to maintain Rosemount's quality of life.

So we want to honor that spirit on Nov. 18, when we have combined the send-off with the annual tree-lighting ceremony arranged the last few years by the Rosemount Area Arts Council and our Youth Commission. That evening, the band will march up Highway 3 from the high school to the Community Center.

In the south parking lot, the band will give a sample of its performance. Afterward, there will be choir music, seasonal treats and an appearance by Santa, along with music from the RHS Chamber Singers and from the Community Band that includes a number of RHS alumni. That's another symbol of the connections that our band's excellence creates in Rosemount.

The events start at 5:45 p.m. Come early and carpool if you can; the event will take up part of the parking spaces. And in keeping with the holidays, please bring a food shelf donation. Through our generosity and our children's excellence, we keep Rosemount a great hometown.