Strolling Into First


Steph Sommer

Strolling Strings rolls down the Cheyenne Frontier Days parade route, smiling at the crowd as they go.

Steph Sommer, Features Editor

When most people hear the word parade they probably think of marching bands or classic cars cruising by, not an orchestra. Strolling Strings is here to change that. They can be heard from blocks away, with their Thunderbird blue violins playing in unison. People jump up every time, dancing and clapping along to the classic “Train Songs”, which features “Orange Blossom Special” and train whistles blaring from the instruments.

“I think it’s one of the funnest things in the parade,” explains East High Orchestra teacher, Mr. Mathews. “A lot of people call me and talk to me sometimes and mention how much they love the float because it’s so high energy, which is really satisfying because we just do it all for fun.”

Strolling Strings is made up of Cheyenne East orchestra students and Mr. Mathews’ family. They play mostly fiddle tunes and themes to old western movies as they roll down the parade route, sporting their well-known bright blue East High Thunderbird shirts.

“It [the music] has an effect on the audience,” said freshman Ruth Potter. “When we play on the float people start dancing or smiling. Or people walk up to you afterwards and are like ‘Oh my gosh! You’re in Strolling Strings!’ ”

“The best part is definitely when we come by on our float and everyone starts dancing, said Junior Hayden Higgins. “But I also love that everyone on the float, no matter their age, forms a bond within the group that is unbreakable.”

The group has also been invited to play before both Saturday Frontier Days rodeos in front of the grandstands for past and upcoming years. Strolling Strings now claims 16 float of the day awards and 4 float of the year awards from the Cheyenne Frontier Days organization.