Band director David A. Szabo stood before his Quantico Marine Corps Band and called them to attention with a loud “Atten-Hut!” The group’s 38 members quickly snapped into place, instruments at the ready, as they prepared to lead hundreds of paradegoers along Route 25A in Miller Place last Sunday during the 64th annual Miller Place/Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
The band receives more than 400 requests each year to perform in parades around the country. The Miller Place/Rocky Point parade was the only Long Island St. Patrick’s Day celebration for the band. It had last performed in Miller Place in 2008.
Szabo, a 25-year veteran chief warrant officer 4, says he enjoys coming to local parades even more than larger ones because of the sense of community and patriotism imbued by attendees.
“We love doing hometown crowds, it’s the best,” Szabo said. “Everybody’s just more open and appreciative.”
The band topped off their parade performance with a visit to Rocky Point High School to play alongside the Rocky Point High School Golden Eagles Marching Band.
“Working with the Quantico Marine Corps Band was a fantastic learning experience for the students,” said Amy Schecher, secondary music chairwoman and band teacher in a statement afterward. “The experience of performing next to professional musicians was invaluable and truly enjoyed by all.”