Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published November 20, 2013

 The Walled Lake Majorettes from Northern, Central and Western high schools pose in a band preview picture.

The Walled Lake Majorettes from Northern, Central and Western high schools pose in a band preview picture.


WALLED LAKE — Returning to the battle ground, the Walled Lake Central marching band will showcase its state champion talent as it performs alongside Michigan native Tony Lucca during the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving Day halftime concert at Ford Field.

“It’s a nice honor to be able to do it,” said band director David Rogers. “It’s going to be a really big audience, so we’re excited to be a part of it.”

At the request of the Detroit Lions, the marching Vikings were selected out of all the Michigan bands by the Michigan Competition Band Association to play backup for Lucca for the “NFL Play 60” themed performance.

In 2007, the National Football League launched its youth health and fitness campaign — NFL Play 60 — encouraging young fans to exercise for at least 60 minutes a day. Tackling childhood obesity, the campaign pairs the league’s fitness with various organizations through in-school, after-school and team-based programs.

Demonstrating their appreciation for the band’s commitment to the show, the Lions are paying for the busing for rehearsals and the game, feeding the members at each  rehearsal, providing the students and staff with standing-room tickets for the Thanksgiving game, and buying new outfits and flags for the color guard to match the Lions’ colors.

In addition to the marching band, the Walled Lake Central pom pon team, cheerleaders and the majorettes of the Twirl M’s will also be participating in the show.

The Twirl M’s of Walled Lake comprises majorettes from Walled Lake Central, Northern, Western high schools and middle school clubs, said director Rhonda Muscaro. They also have twirlers from the Huron Valley Schools, Concord and Ann Arbor.

Twenty-seven national twirlers of the 49 members, who were invited by Rogers, will be twirling during the halftime show, including all the Walled Lake majorettes, with the remainder doing pom pons.

Muscaro said that six majorettes from Northern, two from Central, one from Western, two from South Lyon East and three college feature twirlers, who all graduated from Walled Lake Northern, will be twirling during the halftime show.

This is not the first time the Twirl M’s of Walled Lake have performed at the Thanksgiving game. In 2005, the twirlers performed during the Lions’ halftime show with Mariah Carey.

“I got to perform at the Detroit Lions game with the Twirl M’s when I was in seventh grade, so I think that was a really big highlight, and I’m really excited to get to twirl for them again,” said Grand Valley feature twirler Moriah Muscaro.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Muscaro has been twirling since she was 5 years old and has traveled to Peru as a twirling ambassador. She graduated from Walled Lake Northern in 2011 and was on the majorette line all four years. She said she didn’t care for twirling at first, but once her mother introduced it to a group of her friends, the Twirl M’s were born.  In its 14th year of existence, the program has been home to about 700 twirlers.

“I’m really, really excited to have this opportunity, and I’m really excited for Walled Lake Central and our twirlers to experience what I got to experience before,” Moriah Muscaro said.