Elaine Ort, band director for Western Wayne High School, will join band directors from across the country next January 1st in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Rose Parade.
A custom-designed animated float will lead a “marching band of band directors” up to 300 strong from across the country. The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation, based in Pickerington, Ohio, is the sponsoring organization behind the project. The foundation was created to recognize and carry on the work of the late Mike Sewell, who dedicated his life to the school and community music programs in Pickerington and the Central Ohio area for more than 38 years.
The parade entry will convey the theme, “We teach music. We teach life.” The extraordinary dedication and accomplishments of band directors are well known to their students, to parents and to school teachers and administrators. No matter where they teach and work—public and private schools, colleges and universities, the military, community bands—dedicated music educators and leaders work long hours to not only teach and direct music, but to teach life itself. Students’ lives in particular are positively changed by a motivational leader who taught, inspired and mentored them.
“I am so incredibly excited for this experience, and so grateful to have had such wonderful colleagues and friends who have helped prepare me for this adventure,” Ort said. “ I hope that I will make all of you proud in Pasadena. Go Wildcats, and Go Band!”
Elaine Ort has devoted much of her life to the study and performance of music. A native of New England and graduate of Marywood University, Elaine is a member of the Scranton Brass Orchestra, the Providence Brass, the Schützengiggles Oompah Band, the Marywood University Wind Symphony, and performs often in musical pit orchestras throughout the region. As an educator, Elaine serves as the director of instrumental activities in the Western Wayne School District since 2014. At Western Wayne, her teaching responsibilities include sixth grade brass instruction, eighth grade band instruction, and the Pride of Western Wayne, the Wildcat High School Band. Under her direction and guidance the school continues to invest heavily in its music program, and was recently named a KHS America Academic Alliance Platinum school for its investment in instrumental education. It is the only school in Pennsylvania, and one of only 39 in the United States to have received that honor.
Complete details on the project are available on the Saluting America’s Band Directors website, BandDirectorSalute.org.