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December 29, 2021 3 min read

My friend, Michael Embrey will be marching in the float and band combo featuring band directors from across the country in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California on January 1st, 2022. The Band Directors Marching Band is THE FIRST OF ITS KIND and will feature recent music education graduates through retired veteran directors. Collectively, the band members have mentored hundreds of thousands of students and together have taught over 4,000 years. Wow!! There are over 70 teachers in the group and many winners of other distinguished states and national awards.

As the band makes their way down the parade route on the float that is themed “Saluting America’s Band Directors: We Teach Music. We Teach Life.” they will be performing three pieces, Stars & Stripes Forever, Seventy Six Trombones and an original titled “ The Gift of Time".

Michael has given so much to our community and country and I can’t think of anyone more deserving. I am so proud of him and happy to call him our friend. I can’t wait to watch you Michael.

I met Michael in the local Chamber of Commerce when I worked my corporate job many years ago and have many memories to speak about. I have worked “security” for some of his events; the VIP gate for DeKalb Corn Fest, Drum & Bugle Corps “Tour Of Champions” at Huskie Stadium, and done fashion shows for him at Music at the mansion. One thing I have yet to do is help him at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival in Chicago, which he does every year. Michael has celebrated many events with us and is always looking for ways to help me grow my business. In 2019, he gave me the surprise of my life by presenting me with the DeKalb County Outstanding Woman Business Owner Award, which not only was a huge honor to receive such an award, but to be presented from such a wonderful friend.

For those that do not know Michael, he is a former member of the famed United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps. After his military duty, he played professionally before accepting the director position for the NIU Marching Band where he held the position from 1974 – 1984. While at NIU, he created the NIU Silver Girls (twirlers), Flag Corps, and Silverettes.

Michael is active in the community and supports a variety of local charities and social organizations. He is a member of the DeKalb County Veteran Assistance Bureau and the DeKalb County Veterans Honor Roll and has performed at a variety of military events including military funerals and civic events. Just last month on November 7th, he was part of a special Bugle detail playing TAPS at the 100th Anniversary of the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”. Having performed TAPS over 1,000 times, Embrey was honored to play TAPS at the American Cemetery in Normandy Beach, France in 2016.

Michael founded the ‘Sweets4Troops‘ program which collects candy to send to troops serving overseas. Since 2014, he has collected over 3,000 pounds of candy and distributed hundreds of holiday packages to military personnel throughout the world. Michael also helped create the new DeKalb Military Hometown Hero Banner program which pays tribute to men and women from DeKalb who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. The banners are displayed along Locust Street in Downtown DeKalb.

Michael is also the CEO of FunME Events™ in DeKalb, IL, the parent company for several entertainment and excursion divisions in DeKalb which has brought several special events to the DeKalb County area like ‘Music at the Mansion’. He also once was CEO on the Miss Illinois pageant. He continues to work in the music field as an arranger, show designer, and producer, having produced half time NFL shows. His company hosts a variety of music festivals and competitions in the United States.

Michael, we at Lizzy’s are so proud that you have been given this honor. We will be living vicariously through you as we watch the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1st, 2022. It is on my bucket list and when you do a tour the next time, sign me up. You will be an amazing tour guide, having marched in the parade.  

Be sure to tune in to this year’s parade. The 2022 Rose Parade will air live Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET and will be followed by the Rose Bowl game.

For more info: https://tournamentofroses.com/

Happy New Year from all us of at Lizzy’s Pink Boutique!

~Lizzy


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