Ready to Roll: Loyola Dean Marches with the 610 Stompers
It’s the week before Mardi Gras, and a college dean at Loyola University New Orleans is ready to roll.
Kern Maass, dean of the university’s acclaimed College of Music and Media is one of a dozen or so “rookies” to join the 610 Stompers in 2019 – and march in parades for the first time in 2020. Clad in red satin jackets, headbands, tall socks, and blue polyester shorts, the mustachioed all-male dance troupe – known as “The Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Moves” – has dazzled parade-goers since 2008. And that kind of comedy is right up the dean's alley.
“It is certainly a fun release,” Maass told The Maroon, Loyola’s award-winning student newspaper for an article, ‘Parade Stomping GivesDean Maass Appeal.’ “I take my work very seriously, but I have never taken myself very seriously. If you’ve ever been in the dean’s office, you’ll see we always have fun.”
Maass marched in November in the annual Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade and performed on the Today Show, and last year, he danced with Krewe of Boo in the French Quarter.
But Sunday night, as the Stompers marched in Uptown New Orleans with the Krewe of Carrollton, he danced in his first Mardi Gras parade, taking new moves to the streets for a five-mile-plus march. The fun extends all week, as the Stompers march with Krewe of Nyx, Krewe of Hermes, Krewe of Thoth, and Krewe of Orpheus.
Selection for the Stompers is a highly competitive process – only a dozen or so men are chosen each year to join the popular 120-member troupe.
But Maass has a competitive edge: as dean of the College of Music and Media at Loyola New Orleans, which houses one-third of Loyola New Orleans undergraduates, he runs a slew of professional performance studios. He and fellow rookies have been furiously practicing at Loyola for months, much to their own amusement and that of our students.
Are you heading out to parades this week? Look for Dean Maass and the 610 Stompers.
You can see him here in this WGNO-TV video of rookie tryouts. He’s No. 151 – the tall guy with glasses.