NOMC & AF Present Parading Feet Initiative during the 2015 Carnival Season
Regular parade goers along the stretch of the traditional St. Charles Ave. route may be familiar with a chant of the school marching bands: “Ahhh!…my feet hurt!”
For many musicians and marching band students, blisters and sore feet are at an all time high this time of year, and the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF) wants to ensure that foot pain becomes another out-dated carnival tradition.
Its pilot program, Parading Feet, connects band leaders, parents and students to foot care resources. “The goal is to help marching band students focus on their music instead of uncomfortable feet,” says volunteer program manager, Dr. Marc Lindy of Vancouver, Canada, a podiatrist, tuba player and leader of the Homegoing Brass Band.
“It’s bad – every year we march, we have great, talented students drop out from a parade because her/his feet were killing. With Parading Feet, you will see our students marching and smiling each parade, no excuses,” says Mr. Joshua Speight, band director for KIPP’s new music program, which is the pilot school for NOMC&AF’s initiative.
This week, KIPP’s Central City Academy’s Tiger marching band received a generous donation of anti-blister socks from Wrightsock (North Carolina) and Formthotic insoles from Foot Science International (New Zealand) for each band member just in time to high-step into parade season.
Dr. Lindy also coordinates blister remediation, foot strain and proper shoe ordering information and offers advice via skype.
“For many of the band students, this will be a valuable lesson in preventive health care. The ultimate goal of the New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation is for performers to treat their bodies as their most important instrument. That’s what we’ve accomplished daily through the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic for 17 years. We’re so thankful for our supports who keep musicians happy, healthy and alive. It seems natural that we give health resources to young musicians,” says Erica Dudas, managing director of NOMAF.
See a special thank you video from the KIPP Marching Band leaders and students here!
KIPP Central City Academy’s Tiger Marching Band will be high-stepping on the routes for the first time in the following parades:
Krewe of Pontchatrain (2/7), Krewe of Carrollton 2/8), Chaos (2/12), Hermes (2/13) and Tucks (2/14).