May 8, 2023
Athens Drive’s Marching Band To Appear In the National Memorial Day Parade
The award-winning Athens Drive High School Marching Band of Raleigh will perform in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. at 2 pm on Monday, May 29 along Constitution Avenue.
The largest Memorial Day event in the country, the parade features three grand marshals who went to the moon: Astronauts Rusty Schweickart (Apollo 9), Charlie Duke (Apollo 16) and Jack Schmitt (Apollo 17). Schmitt is the last living person to have set foot on the moon’s surface.
The parade will be streamed live on the Internet at several locations including the American Veteran Center’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
A National Memorial Day Parade television special will premiere the weekend of June 3-4 nationwide on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW stations, and to our military personnel worldwide on the American Forces Network – reaching a collective audience of more than 100 million households.
The Athens Drive Marching Band, currently the only band from North Carolina scheduled to participate, took part in four state band competitions this school year and won Grand Champion honors in two of them and were runners up in the other two. The band placed no lower than second in any individual category all season, taking home more than two dozen first-place awards.
In addition to regularly participating in the Apex and Cary Christmas parades, the Athens Drive Marching Band has participated in the Raleigh Christmas parade each year since the school was founded in 1978.
Prior to the pandemic, the Athens Drive Marching Band was often invited to participate in national events, including the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade and Disney World Christmas events. This is the first out-of-state appearance for the band since the pandemic.
Jerome “Doc” Markoch is the Athens Drive Marching Band director and in August will be entering his 30th year at the helm.
The Memorial Day Parade started in 1868 but during World War II the tradition was interrupted and not restarted until the American Veterans Center reintroduced it in 2005. The parade was also canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. More than 200,000 spectators attended last year.
Quick Background Info
Band director Jerome “Doc” Markoch can be reached Email or 919-233-4050 ext. 24939.
Senior Emily Schmidt, finishing her fourth year in the band, is the drum major. She can be reached by Email .
Athens Drive High School, part of the Wake County Public School System, is located at 1420 Athens Dr, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Athens Drive Band website: https://athensdriveband.com
Parade Media Inquiries: https://www.americanveteranscenter.org/avc-events/parade/media/
National Memorial Day Parade Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/nationalmemorialdayparade/
American Veteran Center’s YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTnhya0OmSG64vw3fVgdGDg
American Veteran Center’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/americanveteranscenter/