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Each year from 1948 to 1977, a high school band was selected to represent the Lions of Michigan in the annual parade at their international convention. In 1978, an all-state band was organized to honor and play for an incoming Lions International President from Michigan. This Lions All State Band was created and has appeared annually at conventions thereafter.
The All State Band has since become one of the Michigan Lions’ most acclaimed youth activities. The success of the band is attributable to outstanding students, excellent instructors, and dedicated support staff. Former band directors include Jon Francis, Walter Cole, Jim King, Mack Pittard, Matt Taton and Roger Weyersberg. The current director is Jason Russell.
Students from over 300 Michigan high schools and communities have participated in the band since its inception. The band averages 45-75 students.
Performances center around the band’s appearance at the Lions Clubs International Convention, held in major cities throughout the world during late June or early July. Additional concerts and appearances are schedules enroute to the convention site or during the homeward journey. The annual tour generally lasts 7 to 10 days. Major cities where the band has performed include Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco, New Orleans, Honolulu, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Montreal.
The Lions All-State Band provides its members with experience in four major areas.
- Excellent musical literature and high-quality instruction contribute to long-term growth.
- Sectionals help students develop rhythm, intonation, and tone.
- Students return to their high school bands with more experience in performing
Travel & Education
- Worldwide travel promotes a better understanding of social, cultural, and ethical diversity.
- Increases students’ appreciation of the world through tourism and exposure to unique activities.
- Students develop social skills through interaction with fellow band members from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
- Many students experience their first opportunity to develop self-reliance through extended travel and absence from home.
- Lasting friendships are formed
“We Serve” – Exposure to the Lion’s Motto
- Concerts at hospitals, orphanages, and retirement centers enable students to bring joy to people and to those less fortunate than themselves.
- Students experience the personal satisfaction of the helping others which is the concept behind the Lions’ motto, “We Serve.”