The Academy Band and 7th Company has finally come into it’s own! 2014 saw invitations from two of America’s “Top Ten” Parades; America’s first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston and the country’s second largest St. Patty celebration in Holyoke, MA.
This Band is not simply a military style unit, but a group able to provide entertainment appropriate to any occasion. They are versatile! Recently, they were voted best in show for both Holyoke and Roslindale Parades.
What makes this group so successful … a number of really talented individuals like 2/C Charles Donnelly, native of Stoughton, Ma and graduate of Foxborough Regional Charter School class of 2012. Currently an Energy Systems major with a minor in International Maritime Business, Donnelly is also a charismatic band member who pours his whole body and soul into the cymbal as he marches the parade route. He is both a scholar and a gentleman with a GPA that is as high as his dance steps (3.74) - groovin' to the syncopated cadences of the drum line. He is often depicted as an Irish red headed American – both happy and proud to be marching in multiple St. Patrick’s Day parades. “The “Southie” Parade is nothing short of exceptional. It is the most personal parade we march in. The bond with the crowd is huge, he noted.
Donnelly, who plays seven instruments, manages to find time to tutor in the Learning Resource Center, play banjo in his family's band and co-found the Academy's first bluegrass band, "Stowaway String Band". “I pride myself as an individual. I chose MMA because it was one of the only schools that would allow me to showcase my original passions and determined excellence. I thrive in the midst of a challenge, and the Academy helps me grow because it continues to push my limits. Band membership allows me to try new things, experiment, and enjoy myself as part of the group, especially during the parades,” he stated.
On May 26th, 7th Company will have their next great adventure. They will march down Constitution Ave. in Washington D. C. in the National Memorial Day Parade - an event that draws over 250,000 spectators. Now that ‘s some really high stepping.