Marching Band

Marching Band

Memorial Day Parade (Note: the Parade is on Saturday May 28, 2022)

Our presence and our bright sound was hushed back into the closet as recognition of LGBTQ members in the armed services was still considered taboo. But in 2011 after Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, everyone on the stage stood up and saluted us, and every year since we have been recognized and honored. It is with a great amount of pride that we honor the LGBTQ heroes that have come before us. It would make us even prouder to march with a 300+ marching band behind these brave Americans who paved the path for all of us to have the freedoms and rights that we have and continue to fight for.

Stepping off a short 10-minute walk from the hotel, the parade route takes marchers along that great street, State Street. All paths are paved and wheelchair accessible. Performers can expect a total walking route of less than 2 miles from the parade line-up to return back to the hotel. Music appropriate to both a Memorial Day event and the event theme will be selected. Note the parade falls on Saturday May 28th, 2022, not on Memorial Day. 

The Chicago Annual Memorial Day Parade will proceed rain or shine with the exception of lightning. Ponchos will be available for performers to wear over their uniform as needed.


You will wear your own Black shoes, Black Socks, Black Pants and any color underwear your heart desires. Your shirt will be the conference T-Shirt which is require to be purchased with your registration for $20. If it is chilly, you’re welcome to wear a black long sleeve shirt under your uniform t-shirt.  The hat will be provided at no charge for you to take home and wear with pride. 


Music part assignments can be found on this spreadsheet. Music will be distributed in April. 


Marching Band Artistic Leadership

Stephen Carey
Stephen Carey is a native of Northwest Pennsylvania and holds a degree in Hospitality Management from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. His music influence comes from Elementary, Middle, and High School Music Educators in the Wattsburg Area School District. As a percussionist and section leader, Stephen performs regularly with the Lakeside Pride Symphonic Band, and has performed with the Blazing River Freedom Band, Lesbian and Gay Band Association, Cleveland State University Symphonic Band, Western Reserve Community Band, Erie Playhouse, and several high school orchestras in Northwest Pennsylvania. He has also had the opportunity to conduct the Erie Playhouse Orchestra for Fame! the Musical and A Night of Glee. In addition to music, Stephen has non-profit experience with the Blazing River Arts Group, Inc. as a Member At-Large on the Board of Directors working on recruiting, fundraising, event planning, and communication. Professionally, he is a Revenue Optimization Manager for White Lodging Services in the hospitality industry. Marching Band Artistic Director since Spring 2017.