Marching Band Marches in Southside Irish Parade After Two-Year Hiatus

Yulianna Nolasco, Staff Reporter

             The Bishop Noll marching band participated in the Southside Irish Parade on March 13, 2022. This was the 5th time the band marched in this storied Chicago parade. 


             Mr. Rocco Carioto, band director, said that the Southside parade is bigger and more famous than the parade that takes place downtown, and the band’s participation in this event gives the band program some notoriety and esteem.


            “I have been a  high school band director for close to 30 years, and I have a reputation with the committee of bringing quality bands to the event,” Carioto said. “When I was at Marist, I brought them there. When I was at Providence Catholic, I brought them there, so when I called the committee 5 years ago, they knew my reputation and the great reputation and quality of the BNI band and all the awards the band has won over the years. They love having us in the event.”    


            Although the band participates in other recognized Chicago parades–like the Thanksgiving Day parade and the Columbus Day parade–the Southside Irish parade holds a special place in band members’ hearts. 


           “What I was most excited for with this Southside Irish parade was all the band members coming together to play music,” said junior Nyree Ruiz, flutist. “It is like a family and I love when we are all together.” 


            The band marched through the Beverly and Mount Greenwood neighborhoods, starting off on 103rd and marching south along Western Ave to 115th. The 2022 parade marked its first return in two years after it was sidelined by the pandemic. The Bishop Noll band was one of 15 marching bands and over 100 floats participating in the parade. 


            Bishop Noll performed a song called “Golden Swagger” and put in a lot of practice the weeks leading up to it.“The band had dedicated the last week to rehearsing the music and practicing our marching,” Ruiz said.


            “This year my seniors asked me to bring back an old song we did back in 2015 called Golden Swagger.. It’s different, has sort of hip hop feel to it and the band loves to play it. So this song was dedicated to my seniors,” Carioto said.


             Not only was the parade special, but it was also Carioto’s birthday. “My birthday is Saturday the 12th and my wife was having a family party for me, so I had to rush back home after the parade and celebrate the fact that I was turning…….29! Only kidding,” Carioto said.