Westerville North High School’s band director Sara Loney will join up to 300 band directors from across the country to march in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Rose Parade on Jan. 1.
“I am incredibly excited and honored to be representing Westerville City Schools,” Loney said. “As a dedicated marching band fan, I watched the parade on TV my entire life and dreamed of being a part of it.”
A custom-designed animated float will lead the first-ever marching band of band directors. The theme for the 2022 parade is “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” to celebrate education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives. For Loney, it makes the opportunity to participate all the more special.
“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came to my attention through a Westerville Band parent that took the time to think of me,” said Loney, who joined WNHS two years ago. “I am always humbled by the kindness the band parents have shown me, and I am blown away by the sheer energy and dedication they have for the program. I hope that my Rose Parade performance will honor those parents and my students as well as all music educators.”
The Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation is the sponsoring organization behind the project. Based in Pickerington, 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.
In addition to leading WNHS’ marching band, she instructs two concert bands, jazz ensemble, pep band and teaches Advanced Placement Music Theory.
Loney earned her master’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University in 2019. During her time at Ohio State, she taught undergraduate music education courses and performed with the Ohio State University Wind Symphony. She also worked as a visual designer, writing drill for five high school marching bands nationally as part of the team at JJ Visual Design.
Prior to her time at Ohio State, Loney taught beginning band, middle school band, high school band, and music theory as well as serving as head band director and assistant band director in schools in northeast Ohio and Houston, Texas.