Events Links Resources
The Parade People - Gateway Music Festivals and Tours - Connect With a Pro


The Spotlight presents news and articles on topics related to marching bands and pageantry arts.

Share this page:

View more articles

Suggest an article topic
Popular articles

Prep your body for marching season

12 Holiday Gift Ideas for Marching Band Fans

Cavalcade of Bands Honor Band

Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band

German bugle band makes its mark at Calgary Stampede

Marching bands to honor 9/11 anniversary

Traveling Efficiently

Specialized Marching Band Carts

Working With a Travel Agent

Fiesta Bowl Memorable for Norton Band

'Band Nerds' Holiday Poem

Drum beat sparks music passion

Sport, Art, or...Spart?

Musical Growth Spurt

First Day of Rehearsal

Troopers Drum Corps Documentary

Ripped Jeans And Self-Esteem

Boot Camp For Bands

Benefits of Indoor Percussion

Secrets of a Successful Audition

A Disappearing Act

One More Time Around Again Marching Band

Steamboat Springs Ski Band

Band Boosters Support Dreams

Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band

Rose Parade Float Honors Marching Bands

Throw It Down Movie

Bob McGrath inspires on Sesame Street

Rose Parade Float Decorators

Bugles Across America

High School Musical Choreographer Bonnie Story

Working in Harmony at Fillmore Central H.S., Harmony, Minnesota

Marching Amidst the Glaciers at Colony H.S., Alaska

Empowering Multiplicity at Trenton Peabody H.S., Tennessee

Visualizing the Extraordinary at Sebring H.S., Florida

Henson blends winter guard with puppetry in Panther & Crane

Competition: How important is it?

Band Nerds Poetry Book

Capturing Show Design Ideas

Halftime Magazine Debuts

From The 50 Yard Line Movie

Three Tips for Cleaning Drill

American Band Book

YouTube Marching Videos

Brentwood Band plays on Brad Paisley CD

Macy's Marching Band

Broken Arrow Documentary

Color Guard Flag Design

Marching Band Health Tips

European Flower Parades

Home > Spotlight > Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band
2013 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade Coverage

Pride of the Dutchmen band preps wooden shoes for Rose Parade march

By Ken Martinson, Founder

PASADENA, Calif. (Dec. 29, 2012) — Even if they aren't playing a tune, you will hear them coming. The Pride of the Dutchmen Marching Band — representing MOC-Floyd Valley High School from Orange City, Iowa — will march the entire 5.5-mile Rose Parade route wearing traditional wooden shoes from Holland.

Parent volunteers hand painted the Rose Parade logo on the wooden shoes The Pride of the Dutchmen will wear in Pasadena. Drum major Andrew Schuiteman explained that the shoes always generate a great response from the crowd.

"From a distance they can hear the shuffling of the shoes, but they don't know what it is," Schuiteman said. "When you get closer and they see you're marching in wooden shoes, they freak out. The overall crowd response is one of uproar almost. It really makes them excited."

For most of the wooden shoes, the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade will be their one and only performance. The soft wood required to carve the unique shape will gradually wear down along the parade route. Although the soles are thick enough to last the entire parade route, it's possible that some holes will begin to appear by the parade's end.

"The bottom gets sanded off by the rough pavement as the shoes go down the street," explained band director Steve Connell. "What's really unique is that a cloud of sawdust rises behind the band."

Since the shoes are essentially blocks of wood with no flexibility, the band uses a different march style than other bands.

"It's a physically difficult thing to do, because you're actually pushing the shoes down the street," Connell said. "You can't lift your feet up because there's no give in the top of the arch. I don't have to teach the students how to march in the shoes. When the freshmen come in I just let them try the shoes and after about ten steps they have it figured out."

Labor of love
The wooden shoes were imported from the Netherlands, and then 20 volunteers hand painted the Tournament of Roses logo on each of the 360 individual shoes that will be used in the parade.

Band members rehearsed in the hotel parking lot for their upcoming performance in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Dianne Van Wyk and Diana Van Ravenswaay are two of the parents who helped paint logos on the shoes, a process that took volunteers about 260 hours to complete.

"Stenciling and painting was more complicated than it sounds, because of the curve of the shoe," Van Ravenswaay said. "We traced the template with a mechanical pencil, applied the paint, and sanded lightly to make them smooth."

Leaving no detail undone, the crew even used different stencils depending on the size of the shoe. Bigger shoes got a bigger rose.

Before the shoes are used in the parade on Tuesday, students will be given a piece of foam and they will go to work customizing their shoes for the best fit possible.

"They don't make them for comfort," Schuiteman said with a smile.

Van Wyk said her daughter's recipe for comfort involves multiple layers.

"We usually make sure she has enough socks on, about three pairs, and we put padding between the layers of socks," Van Wyk said. "We also put padding on top of the foot for a little more cushion and a snug fit."

Small town support
Connell has brought his band back to Pasadena for the second time, after first appearing in the Rose Parade exactly 20 years ago. He smiled broadly as he talked about the community and administrative support that has enabled the band to provide this trip of a lifetime for the students.

"We come from a rural town of 6,000 people. We raised $300,000. This trip is completely self-funded so it didn't cost the school a dime," Connell said.

MOC-Floyd Valley Senior High School has a total enrollment of less than 450 students in grades 9 through 12. With band membership usually ranging between 170 and 190 members each year, the Pride of the Dutchmen Band includes roughly 40% of the entire student population. This means the band members are the same students who play on the school's championship volleyball team and the highly ranked boys and girls basketball teams.

"We have a group of teachers, coaches and administrators who all strive for excellence in everything they do," Connell said. "We all make accommodations for each other so we can take these excellent kids who do everything really well and include them in our programs. In a small town, this is what really makes it work."

The community of Orange City (population 6,100) is accustomed to hearing the band's clack of wooden shoes. The band marches in six local parades each May during the annual Orange City Tulip Festival. The festival pays tribute to the Dutch heritage of the region, where immigrants from the Netherlands settled in the late 1800s.

There's no question that the Dutch heritage is thriving in Orange City. Van Ravenswaay joked, "The 'V' section is a large part of our telephone book!"

Tune In
Catch the Pride of the Dutchmen marching band on the live broadcast of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade beginning at 8:00 AM (Pacific) on Tuesday, January 1. The band is unit #14 in the parade and will appear within the first twenty minutes. Follow along with the 2013 Rose Parade lineup.

Related stories: Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade and Tournament of Roses Bandfest Schedule

Photos by

Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.

2023 DCI Championships Photos

2023 DCI Photos

2023 Fall Marching Band Events

Facebook on Facebook

Working on your next marching show? Find Band Uniforms and select Marching Band Music Arrangers in the Resource section.

Support Music logo