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Lions Band Tour 2023:Boston & New York City

This year, the Lions of Michigan All-State Band emerged from the aftermath of Covid and re-formed to bring their incredible musical talents to Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City. The 2023 Michigan Lions Band was comprised of nearly 30 high school band students from all across the state of Michigan. Together, they embarked on the adventure of a lifetime and shared their phenomenal musical skills everywhere they went. If the Lions’ motto is “We Serve”, the Lions of Michigan All-State Band upheld this mantra by serving every destination they visited through the gift of music.


Group shot of the 2023 Lions of Michigan All-State Band, dressed in blue performance uniforms.
The 2023 Lions of Michigan All-State Band

If you'd like to catch a glimpse of everything the 2023 Lions of Michigan All-State Band experienced during their travels in Boston and New York, check out our 2023 highlight video.




Lions Band Tour 2023


Having been absent from the 2022 season, the Lions of Michigan All-State Band was able to rebuild and prepare a fresh musical selection for their 2023 tour to Boston and New York. Auditions began in October of 2022, utilizing traditional in-person auditions and, for the first time in the band’s history, online video submissions. Among the auditions were 24 talented individuals who showcased their musical abilities and earned the opportunity to travel across the country and perform at various locations throughout Boston and New York City.


It’s safe to say some incredible memories were made along the way too.


However, before the band could begin their travels every student came together for Band Camp at Lions Bear Lake Camp, located in Lapeer, Michigan. The camp lasted 3 days and split its focus between deep-diving into this year’s musical selection and preparations for the Lions Clubs International Parade routine. The jam-packed rehearsal schedule also helped the students bond through their love of music and eager anticipation for the upcoming tour.


Lions Band member playing the Flute with other band students playing trumpets in the background.
Lions Band students rehearse at Band Camp.

Band Camp concluded with a live musical performance - their first concert of the season - in front of each student’s friends and family members. The performance was also live-streamed on the band’s Facebook page for anyone unable to attend the event in person. Needless to say, the audience's reaction to the performance was fantastic. Spectators were thrilled by the band’s dynamic sound, despite their relatively small size.


With the Band Camp concert now over, the band students gathered their belongings and got some rest before departing for Boston at 5 AM the next morning.


Group shot of the Lions of Michigan All-State Band marching together at Band Camp.
Marching together at Band Camp.


LIONS BAND IN BOSTON


Group shot of the Lions of Michigan All-State Band marching down the streets of Boston, dressed in blue performance uniforms.
Lions of Michigan All-State Band march in Boston.

While in Boston, the band performed at the historic Quincy Market to a large gathering of candid spectators. The band’s music echoed throughout the market plaza and conjured many joyous reactions from those lucky enough to be in attendance. The band was also given a Duck Boat tour of the city, where they learned more about Boston’s history and historical significance in the overarching story of our nation. The adventure only continued when the band marched in the Lions Clubs International parade, celebrating the 105th anniversary of the Lions’ convention and Lionism as a whole. The spectators, comprised of thousands of delegates and club members from all across the globe, were wowed by the band’s remarkable sound and musicianship.


In addition to all this, the Lions of Michigan All-State Band also visited the campus of Harvard University. While there, the band students explored the historic Harvard Square and spent a few hours exploring campus shops, including The Coop, which was established in 1882 and serves as the official bookstore for Harvard University and MIT.


No portion of a Lions Band tour could conclude without a spectacular live show, and Blue Man Group at the iconic Charles Playhouse did not disappoint. The students were thrilled to be in the crowd for what only can be described as a dazzlingly hilarious, musically driven performance for a sold-out crowd. It was a sensational BLAST!


Three female members of the Lions of Michigan All-State Band embrace for a hug while traveling together in Boston.
Lions Band creates life-long friendships.

As the band departed for New York City for the second portion of the 2023 tour, the band swung by the USS Constitution Museum, located in Boston Harbor, for a self-guided tour. The USS Constitution, known as “Old Ironside”, is the oldest ship still afloat in the United States. This three-masted wooden frigate was commissioned by the United States Navy in 1794 as part of our nation's Navel Act. The ship now serves as a beautiful museum to commemorate the history of the vessel and all those who served aboard it during its many years on the seas. Each student was able to learn more about our nation’s history by stepping aboard a physical piece of history that had a profound impact on the development of our country, thus, giving each student a newfound appreciation for the lives of our early settlers.


WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY


Wide shot of the Lions of Michigan All-State Band performing aboard the USS Intrepid with the New York City skyline in the background.
Lions Band performs aboard the USS Intrepid.

Upon wrapping up their performances and adventures in Boston, the band embarked on the next portion of their adventure; Two remarkable days in New York City. During their time in the Big Apple, the band members explored the heart of Manhattan - Time Square - and emersed themselves in the hustle and bustle of New York life. In the short span of forty-eight hours, the band was able to explore central park (including John Lennon’s memorial at Strawberry Fields), visit Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center, travel across Manhattan to Greenwich Village and Chinatown, catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, and visit the September 11th memorial and museum.


Many of us remember where we were on September 11th, 2001. However, exploring the incredible, yet heartbreaking, memorial at the iconic site of the Twin Towers was a new experience for all of our Lions Band students. The scope of this affecting landmark truly made a lasting impact on all those visiting Ground Zero, including our high school band students. It was an honor visiting the landmark and learning more about the tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Everyone walked away with an escalated sense of appreciation for New York City’s first responders and everyday life as a whole.



After leaving the September 11th Memorial, we ventured back to Time Square for a live performance of the Broadway production “Wicked” at the breathtaking Gershwin Theater. The show was a dazzling thrill for everyone.


To conclude the New York portion of the tour, the band offered a fantastic performance on the deck of USS Intrepid; a decommissioned Aircraft Carrier, once utilized in World War II, that has now been repurposed as a sea, air, and space museum. Tourists and everyday visitors alike were delighted to experience the band’s performance firsthand and even clapped along to the band’s musical rendition of “Salute to America’s Finest”.


It was a perfect way to say our goodbyes to New York City.


Group shot of the 2023 Lions of Michigan All-State Band posed together on the USS Intrepid in New York City.
The 2023 Lions of Michigan All-State Band aboard the USS Intrepid.

SERVING THROUGH MUSIC IN OHIO


On the voyage home, the band gave their final performance of the tour at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky, Ohio. This performance embodied everything Lionism stands for because it provided the band students the opportunity to share their music with a group of individuals who needed it most. With every song came a new set of smiles and overwhelming feelings of joy and optimism. The attending veterans were thrilled with the band’s live performance and even took the time to speak with each student after the show. It was an extraordinary honor to give back to the brave men and women who sacrificed so much in service to our country.


Immediately following the performance, the band got to enjoy a thrilling day at Cedar Point to celebrate the conclusion of the 2023 tour. The band made sure to offer a short parade across the park’s main entrance and offer thrill-seekers some music to kickstart their morning.


When all was said and done, everyone who experienced the 2023 tour felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment by being able to explore so many incredible destinations and serve through music everywhere we went. There truly is no experience like a Lions of Michigan All-State Band tour.


LIONS BAND: SERVING THE WORLD THROUGH MUSIC

A Trombone player marching with members of the Lions of Michigan All-State Band at the Lions Clubs International Convention in Boston.
Join Lions Band and march with us on our next adventure.

The band’s ability to serve the world through music is what separates it from your traditional high school marching band. It provides high school musicians from throughout the state of Michigan the opportunity to come together, travel the world, develop life-long friendships, grow as musicians, and ultimately make the world a better place through the gift of music. The 2023 tour to Boston and New York was a life-changing experience for everyone who participated, and the band looks forward to embarking on its next adventure in Melbourne, Australia next summer.



HOW YOU CAN JOIN LIONS BAND


If you or someone you know is a high school musician seeking the opportunity of a lifetime, we’re delighted to inform you that auditions for the 2024 tour to Australia are now open. High school band students can easily submit video auditions through the Lions Band website (www.lionsmiband.org) until December 15th, 2023.


There will also be 2 opportunities for in-person auditions:


  • October 28, 2023 - Lakeville High School, 12455 Wilson Road, Otisville, MI 48463

  • November 4, 2023 - Pine River High School, 17445 Pine River School Road, LeRoy MI 49655


To secure your time slot for an in-person audition, you can easily do so by filling out our audition scheduling form. To learn more about what needs to be prepared for the audition, please visit the audition page on our website.


In order for the Lions of Michigan All-State Band to commence with its next adventure, we need the love and support of our fellow Lions. Be sure to share this information with everyone you know and help us build anticipation and excitement for what will surely be the trip of a lifetime for every participating student. Thank you in advance for all your love and support. We look forward to sharing our music in Australia next summer.


Brass players, marching in blue performance uniforms, march through the streets of Boston together.
Lions Band - Forever serving the world through music.


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