Although their athletic teams have been arch-rivals for more than a century, the bands at Waterloo's two public high schools will be marching as one unit later this month.

The instrumental music groups at East and West High Schools are entered as a single band to perform in the 33rd annual "My Waterloo Days" parade. The event is scheduled for Friday, June 13th, 2014, starting at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Waterloo.

Marching band students from both schools will wear the same t-shirts during the parade to enforce unity in music. Band directors at East and West believe both schools need to support each other’s music, not compete against each other.

The students will perform under the theme, “WE March to the Beat of the Same Drum!”

The parade will be held four days after Waterloo schools dismiss classes for the summer.

In an effort to have student representation in the parade and build connections between the instrumental music groups, the directors at both schools decided to join forces and form the first-ever Waterloo High School Marching Band.

Band Directors Joelle Smith (East), Danny Kleinheinz (West) and Michael Conrad (West) will collaborate in preparations and rehearsals leading up to the parade.

Before they perform together, East and West students will gather for two joined rehearsals. The practices will be held on Tuesday, June 10th and Friday, June 13th, both at 10 a.m.

The directors say this is the beginning of a tradition that will continue in future years, regardless of when "My Waterloo Days" festivities occur.