More than 300 local marching band members will travel more than 3,500 miles to perform in the ‘Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the Calgary Stampede this July. And, this is no ordinary band, ages of members of St. Petersburg’s own Second Time Arounders Marching Band range from 18 to 84. The band, comprised of adults with previous marching band experience, practices and performs in St. Petersburg and travels the state and internationally each year.
The current band consists of all marching band instruments including Baritone, Clarinet, Flute/Piccolo, Mellophone, Oboe, Percussion, Saxophone, Sousaphone, Trombone, Trumpet, Majorettes, Flag, Rifles, Honor Guard, banner carrier and more. All previous participants qualify for the voluntary organization.
Brandon resident Dana DeShong has always played the Trombone. In fact, he can hardly remember a time when he didn’t play an instrument. In fact, his twin brother, Dwayne, also plays Saxophone so the pair are a musical family. The brothers graduated from Turkey Creek High School-now Turkey Creek middle and grew up in the area.
“I played in the marching band in high school and wanted to continue but USF didn’t have a football team or a marching band at that time,” said DeShong. But, in the 1980s, the Bucaneer Band offered a great opportunity for musicians to play and DeShong had the opportunity to play in the band. But, after the band disbanded, DeShong discovered the Second Time Arounders and has now been with the band for 20 years.
During that time, he has traveled to Ireland, across the U.S. and was a part of the largets marching band to ever play in the Macy’s parade.
“Anybody out of college and looing for a place to play in a marching band is welcome with us,” said DeShong. “We are a show band and there is nowhere else around to march.”
Despite being active with SCCA Stock Car Racing and two young sons, DeShong says the committment to the band is worth it and he looks forward to taking the entire family to Calgary in July.
While in Calgary, the Rounders will perform in the annual Stampede parade, plus perform a demonstration field show in the Calgary arena as well as several concerts thought the city.
Started in 1912, the Calgary Stampede is an enormously popular 10-day event held every summer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This annual exhibition celebrates the agricultural and historical legacy of the West and has become known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”. One million visitors enjoy the festival, a world class rodeo, an international band competition, shopping, the state fair, and concerts!
The Greater St. Petersburg Second Time Arounders Marching Band was founded in 1983 by Bill Findeison, the conductor, and Herb Melleney, then director of the Festival of States. The band was formed to perform for the Festival of States celebration in St. Petersburg, Florida. With over 500 members ranging in age from 18 to 84 and performing 5-7 times per year, the band only requires experience in a High School or college marching band.
The band has made appearances in festivals and marched in parades all over the world including Key West, FL, Portland, OR, Orlando, FL, Dublin, Ireland, San Antonio, TX, and Savannah, GA, and most recently New York City, NY in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade!