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Selected From our community

The Fremont 4th of July Committee selects annually three outstanding individuals or couples to judge entries in the parade for:

  • Overall Appeal - Overall presentation of the entry. For Marching Bands:
    • Marchers uniformed in appearance and performance
    • Overall musical sound, choice of music, marching ability
  • Creativity / Uniqueness - Creativeness and originality in presentation or performance. Uniqueness of entry
  • Parade Themes - Best adaptation of the Parade Theme
  • Patriotic - Showing patriotism in the entry
  • People's Choice - Crowd response

Judging is subjective and the intent to create great community engagement.


Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.
— Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father (April 13, 1743 - July 4, 1826)

2018 Parade Judges

This year we have selected judges from the Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra! They are proven leaders in providing opportunity to local young, talented musicians.

Judy Lam, Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra Artistic Director

Judy Lam has conducted flute ensembles, chamber groups, choruses, and musicals, many of which featured her original ensemble arrangements. She has performed with Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra. She has received coaching from Jacqueline Pullinger, MBE, Jane Loschen, Hans Jürgen Möhring, former principal flautist of the German Cologne Chamber Orchestra and Peter Lloyd, former principal flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. She received her music education from the University of California in Los Angeles. Since moving to Fremont in 1990, she has been keeping a busy schedule teaching and nurturing a new generation of flautists. She is the Director the Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble which dedicates their performances to serve the community with the gift of music. She also serves as a school band consultant with the Fremont Unified School District coaching young flautists in elementary, middle, and high schools. She is also the recipient of the 2015 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award.

Grace Lai, Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra Associate Director

Grace Lai holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Flute performance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Lai is on the faculty at West Valley-Mission Community College District, is Music Instructor of Fremont Education Foundation and Flute Coach of La Honda Music Camp. As an avid performer, she has performed with the multiple Grammy award winning contemporary chamber music group Eighth Blackbird, the Kansas City Musica Nova, the Los Angeles New Century Players, and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Lai has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Yamaha Outstanding Musicians Scholarship, the Mu Phi Epsilon Merle Doctor Montgomery Grant, the Mu Phi Epsilon Summer Festival Award, the UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund, and the UMKC Conservatory Women’s Association Anniversary Scholarship.

Merna Morse, Fremont Youth Symphony Orchestra String Director

Merna Morse, String Coach of FYSO, is a pianist, cellist, and retired teacher of Social Science at Washington High School, where she served as department heard. She was one of the original cellist in the Fremont Symphony (previously known as the Fremont Philharmonic) and continued as a member for many years. She also had her own piano studio for some time.