Many graduates from Laramie High School were among the ranks of the University of Wyoming Western Thunder Marching Band as they marched in the UW Homecoming parade last Saturday.

The band marched the full parade route and played songs from the pregame show they perform at UW football games. The two songs the band played were Downfield and the UW Fight song.

In between the two songs, the band’s drum line played cadences to give the band a break and to vary the band’s set list.

For many of Western Thunder’s new recruits, including those from LHS, the Homecoming parade was an exciting change of pace in their season.

“We were all looking forward to it,” UW freshman and LHS graduate Lauren Regnell said. “It was our first long parade run together as a band.”

The band’s parade performance went well this year. Despite being a change from how the band usually performs, in many ways parade marching is less challenging.

“In parade marching it’s a lot more monotonous,” Regnell said. “You’re doing the same things on repeat. With a halftime show you’re playing two, three, four different songs. There’s also less variety of moves to make. In parade marching you’re forward marching the whole time. In field marching you get to exercise different techniques as well, like flanks, back marching and slides. There’s more to think about in field marching.”

Despite being a simple task for the band, parade marching can still be a very rewarding one. This is primarily due to the up close and personal interaction that the band gets to have with the Laramie community.

“I think the community loves when they see the Western Thunder,” Regnell said. “From the littlest of kids to the adults. They cheer and ask us to play songs. Family members from all over come to see their kids in the parade so you’ll occasionally just hear someone shout out a member’s name.”

Regnell even recalled a time when a cousin of one of the band members dressed up as a Western Thunder performer for Halloween.