Adult Grand March Coordinator

Number of People: 2

Budget: $0

Instructions for All Star II Grand March

Due to structural issues, in 2008 it was asked that the Grand March end in Elliot, not in the lobby. The conclusion of these directions need to be adapted to accomplish this, so that the spiral, singing of Auld Lang Syne, and the cheer tall take place in Elliot. The march can include the lobby and/or the porch, but should end in Elliot.

Personnel needed: Musicians (usually 2 piano players); one pair to lead the march; the new chairs (to be announced Friday) to help lead the march; at least one person to sit in the dining room and send people left and right; at least one person to help join couples into foursomes, and foursomes into octets.

The Grand March takes place Friday night, after the Musicale. The lobby needs to be cleared of chairs after the Musicale, but not put back as it is during the day – we’ll need all the space for the March. Doors need to be propped open: the doors from the dining room to the porch, dining room to Elliot, the front door of the hotel from the porch to the lobby, the door from the truck trestle to the stairwell and the door from the stairwell into the lobby (the one nearest the bookstore and Lobby Store). In addition, the rocking chairs on the front and side porches should be pushed to the front of the porch (just against the railings all around, if possible) so there’s plenty of room for marching and making bridges on the porch. This is important on the west end as well as on the main front porch, since the march will go all the way around to the truck trestle and back inside. You may also need to widen a path between some of the dining room tables so that four people marching abreast can walk from the main aisle of the dining room to the snack bar area. The march will end in Elliot, so all chairs will need to be cleared from that room.

The music for during the Grand March is “Star Island is Our Spirit’s Home.” This is usually played on the piano, properly done with 2 piano players. There are almost always staff members who can do this – if you haven’t found them before the Pel Show, that’s a good time to identify them, since it’s the same music (and same musicians) that end the Pel Show. Some people, particularly New Shoalers but also some Old Shoalers, want to know the words to this song (some people try to sing as they march). The words are below and could be copied for those interested in knowing the lyrics (although they should be warned that it’s almost impossible to read and march at the same time).

Start with everyone in pairs, one pair behind the other, each pair holding hands. There is no need for each pair to represent a heterosexual couple, nor does it matter which side the men and women stand on. First in line is the volunteer pair leading the march, and next behind them are the new chairs. After the new chairs come past chairs, in order from most seniority (served longest ago) to least seniority (the chairs who are just finishing serving that year). Mostly the past chairs know their hierarchy and can line themselves up. The line starts in the lobby, next to the lobby desk at the door to the dining room.

Everyone marches two-by-two into the dining room, turns left (at least one person should be sitting in the dining room and sending couples towards the porch), and goes out on to the front porch and turns right. [It is vital that the lead pair takes comically small baby steps, since the line curves almost immediately and a “crack the whip” effect can build up quickly.] The line may go to the right for a few yards, hugging close to the wall of the hotel, and then must turn 180 degrees around to their left, staying close enough to the hotel that one straight long bridge can form along the entire length of the porch. When the lead pair gets back to being approximately even with the dining room doors, the lead pair makes a bridge with their hands, and the second pair goes under the bridge and then immediately makes a bridge themselves. Each pair goes under a bridge and then makes a bridge creating a rather long tunnel. The lead pair follows the last pair in the procession going under the arching arms the length of the porch. The lead pair, once through the bridge, must resist the very strong urge to make another bridge once they get through – just keep marching! It takes most of the front porch length to get everyone through a single bridge. The march continues to the end of the porch, turns left onto the west end of the porch, and then comes back into the lobby through the doors between the truck trestle and the stairway and the stairway and the lobby. [This is why those doors must be propped open.] The march re-enters the lobby near the bookstore and marches through the lobby back to the dining room.

Now you really need an authoritative traffic cop or two. This volunteer will split the march into two groups – every other pair, starting with the first, will turn left and go back to the front porch, while the other pairs, starting with the new chairs (2nd pair in the procession), will turn right and go towards the snack bar. At all times, pairs stay together. Do not allow anyone to let go of their partner’s hands once they are joined. The first group of pairs walks through the dining room to the porch and then right back into the lobby through the front doors, turning right and hugging the right-hand wall near the piano, staying near the wall at the Pel Show/Musicale stage, and keeping the pillar in the lobby near the piano on their left. The other group of pairs turns right and walks through the dining room, turns right again toward the snack bar area (ideally, you widen the path ahead of time by moving the tables slightly to make the correct aisle obvious) and comes back into the lobby through the doors where the menu and water fountain are, turning left and hugging the wall near the bookstore. The two columns of pairs should meet each other at the Pel Show/Musicale stage. If one column of pairs happens to arrive at the center of the stage first, they should take baby steps until the other column gets there from the other side so that they can join together at the stage itself.

When the pairs meet one another, they should join hands with another pair, making a group of 4. (You may need another authoritative traffic cop to enforce this, physically joining the hands and repeating “don’t let go, don’t let go”). The groups of 4 then march as a unit across the lobby straight back into the dining room. The same dining room-based volunteer team does the same thing it did to the pairs: starting with the first lead group, every other group of 4 goes out to the porch, and back into the lobby, and hugs the right-hand wall, and the other groups of 4 go through the snack bar to the lobby, and hug the left-hand wall. Once again, the groups meet one another at the center of the Pel Show stage.

The groups of 4 then join hands with one another (encouraged by a traffic cop) and become groups of 8. Groups of 8, holding hands in strong lines, march back across the lobby and proceed to Elliot. The traffic cop from the dining room should meet them. The first group (which should still have the lead pair in it) should move to its left, and the right-most hand of the first group of 8 should join hands with the left-most hand of the second group of 8, forming a single chain. In the end, everyone will be in one long line of people with joined hands, in a spiral that faces out. The lead pair should lead the spiral inward, then turn and spiral outward at the critical moment (after all the groups are together in one long chain, but before the lead person in the chain reaches the center. How does the spiral outward begin? The person at the head of the chain, who is still facing out toward the walls like everyone else, suddenly pivots the chain 180 degrees clockwise so that s/he is for an instant facing his or her partner. The partner then follows the leader and the chain turning 180 degrees clockwise, leading the front of the chain that is now facing in toward the center instead of out toward the walls. Now people can see everyone’s faces. If this spiral is done well, every single person in the conference can look each other in the eye during this spiraling.

At some point in the spiraling, either the lead person or an outside observer (not always people in the lead pair, perhaps a traffic cop: DECIDE WHO IN ADVANCE, and tell the musicians to watch that person for the cue) can see that people are getting confused, tangled, and/or exhausted. At this point, they can signal the musicians to (finally!) stop playing, and can yell “One big circle!” All the marchers should end up in one circle, facing inwards, holding hands (usually we cross hands). At this point, the musicians start up again and we sing Auld Lang Syne, swaying to the music. This ends with a loud chant of “S-T-A-R….”, with the ending of the chant being the next year (“2019! 2019! 2019!”).

Then it’s time for chapel.

Questions? Any part not clear? These instructions were written down by Jennifer Blue and Rick Colby, after having been taught these directions by Margie and Jordan Young. (Adapted by the Cryers in 2009)

The Songs

Star Island is Our Spirit’s Home (Sung to the tune of "We are Marching to Pretoria")

I’m with you and you’re with me and so we are all together

So we are all together

So we are all together

I’m with you and you’re with me and so we are all together

Sta-ar is our home.

CHORUS: Star Island is our spirit’s home Our spirit’s home, our spirit’s home

Star Island is our spirit’s home Star Island, Hurrah!

Sing with me, I’ll sing with you and so we will sing together

So we will sing together

So we will sing together

Sing with me I’ll sing with you and so we will sing together

Sta-ar is our home.

CHORUS (then back to beginning and repeat ad infinitum)

There are also versus thrown in because people don't read this like:

Dance with me, I’ll dance with you and so we will dance together

So we will dance together

So we will dance together

Dance with me I’ll dance with you and so we will dance together

Sta-ar is our home.


Laugh with me, I’ll laugh with you and so we will laugh together

So we will laugh together

So we will laugh together

Laugh with me I’ll laugh with you and so we will laugh together

Sta-ar is our home.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,

for auld lang syne

We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,

for auld lang syne.


Last edited by Kathy West - June 2018 (who is grateful for the detailed instructions written by Jennifer and Rick)