Amy S. Walp, 50, of West Chester, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, November 18th, 2020 at her home.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, she was the daughter of Leonard and Paula (Swithers) Walp, of Jackson Township.
Amy was a 1988 graduate of Lake Lehman High School and attended West Chester University. She fell in love with the town of West Chester and the University and made her home there for the last thirty years.
Amy served as the back-bone of her employer, Under The Sun Productions Inc. based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a special events producing company where she served in countless roles for a wide range of high profile national public events including the QVC/West Chester Christmas Parade, the 6 ABC Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade, the Celebrate America Parade, the Miss America "Show Us Your Shoes" parade, The National Independence Day Parade, The Philadelphia Independence Day Parade, The Citrus Bowl Parade, The Tangerine Bowl Halftime show, The Nashville Christmas Parade, The National Memorial Day Parade, the Republican National Convention Lighted Boat Parade, the Welcome America Lighted Boat Parade, the National Cherry Blossom Parade, the Boy Scouts of America Centennial Parade, The Hershey Centennial Parade, The Welcome America Festival, The Mississippi Gubernatorial Parade, and The Governor Edward G. Rendell Gubernatorial Parade, just to name a few.
She also served as "mass group coordinator" for huge youth choir, tap dance, and dance productions for the 6 ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, National Cherry Blossom Parade, The Citrus Bowl Parade, The QVC/West Chester Christmas Parade and the Nashville Christmas parade where she managed well over seventy thousand individual performers over the course of twenty years, calling them "her kids" and taking great pride and joy in managing and executing the performance opportunities for the young performers.
From 1991 – 1998 she served as assistant director of the West Chester University Winter Color Guard "Field of View" where the color guard was a consistent "world class" finalist at the Winter Guard International World Championships. Since 1990, Amy has served as the assistant director of the West Chester University Incomparable Marching Band Color Guard where the overall band and color guard programs recently became the first division two school in the history of the United States to receive and currently hold the coveted Sudler Trophy of which is awarded to a University band bi-annually recognizing the overall body of work for superior musicianship, and creative show design. It is like receiving the "Heismen" trophy" and her logistical skills, leadership, sewing skills, dedication, building of props, RAM Pride, and much more contributed to the high standards required to receive the award. Anyone who witnessed the band productions in the last few years will remember a black scrim that was three hundred feet long and fifty feet wide (sewn by Amy), or the moving lake that was seventy feet long and sixty feet wide (sewn by Amy), and the list goes on for the many outstanding and incomparable efforts behind the scenes in making all of the WCU band shows come to life.
For a period of time in the 1990's and early 2000's Amy produced the Winter Guard International Mid-Atlantic Color Guard Championships.
She also served as a producing team member for the First Anniversary of the crash of Flight 93, and her sewing talents were on display in five Daytona 500 pre-race show productions for various television networks, including the fiftieth anniversary of the Daytona 500. In addition to these major sewing projects, she has sewn thousands upon thousands of flags over her many years. Also, she served as a technician for the Golden Crown New Years Brigade and the Hegeman String Band for a number of years, and also taught at a number of different high school band programs including Lake-Lehman High School, Montrose High School, Washington Township High School, Hempfield High School, just to name a few.
This past fall, Amy served as a driving creative force behind two special productions for West Chester University including a special "Liberty Bell" performance of which can be found on youtube (WCU INCOMPARABLE COLOR GUARD – Liberty Bell) and also a production featuring the West Chester University Incomparable Marching Band of which will be featured in the virtual 6 ABC Dunkin Thanksgiving Day Celebration to be aired nationally on Thanksgiving Day and also the Nashville Christmas Parade to be aired nationally during the month of December.
In 2012 Amy received the "key to the city" as she, along with long-time friend Todd Marcocci, received the "Volunteer of the Year" award from the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce along with commendations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Pennsylvania State Senate. In addition, in early 2020 she, along with the company, received the "Best of West Chester" award for special events, and numerous awards for "BEST PARADE" by Mainline Magazine.
A fellow producer in the industry once called Amy "the Clydesdale" which was meant as huge compliment (she loved it) as the phrase was designed to recognize the fact that she could do the work of a team of Clydesdales by herself and it was that work ethic, learned from her parents and high school band director John Miliauskas Sr., that paved the way to such great success in a very special industry (marching band – parades – special events).
All of her efforts in the producing industry have contributed to entertaining and spreading love and joy to tens of millions of viewers and spectators from around the globe in all of the productions she has assisted in producing. Her passing is a huge devastation to an industry of making people smile and be happy – but that was always her driving force – "project perfection equals making people happy", as she always cared and gave to others rather than herself. She was truly "INCOMPARABLE".
Surviving in addition to her parents are her brother, Ryan Walp and his wife Maria, Jackson Township, nephew and godson, Adam and niece, Sarah Grace.
The family sends a huge thank you to the thousands of social media messages that they have received, and truly bless everyone who loved, respected, and cherished Amy so much.
Funeral Services will be held privately at the convenience of family.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to West Chester University Foundation, in memory of Amy Walp. Please make checks payable to WCU Foundation, Memo: In Memory of Amy Walp, and mail to 202 Carter Drive, West Chester, PA 19382. If making the donation online, visit www.wcufoundation.org/give
and include Amy Walp in the tribute information. Contributions will be directed to the Amy Walp Memorial Color Guard Scholarship Fund.