Sherburne-Earlville High School annually serves as the host school for the oldest pageant of bands in New York state, which typically draws more than 30 participating schools and upwards of 20,000 people on the first weekend of June.
Jazz, small-ensemble and concert performances take place at the Section Three Class C school, located a few blocks from Main Street in this Central New York village of fewer than 1,400 residents. It all leads up to the main event -- the parade of marching bands through downtown Sherburne and the ensuing Awards Ceremony at Marauder Stadium on the final day of competition.
The Sherburne Pageant of Bands, sponsored by the Sherburne Fire Department, is free and open to the public. Parking and concessions are available near the high school.
The Chenango County village will celebrate its 70th annual Pageant of Bands in 2019. According to the website www.townofsherburne.net, the Sherburne Pageant of Bands started in 1949 as the Sherburne Band Festival, with Sherburne High School hosting Earlville, Gilbertsville, Greene, Hamilton, New Berlin, Norwich, Oxford and West Winfield. Norwich placed first in both the parade and the concert-band contest during the inaugural event.
Local business owner Albert Whitney and former Sherburne music teacher Frank L. Miller started the pageant. The Sherburne-Earlville Central School District inducted Whitney and Miller into its Wall of Fame in 2010.