Reporting Ron Matz
WESTMINSTER, Md. (WJZ) — They’re a group of dedicated and talented high school musicians. The Westminster High School Marching Band has been honored with an invitation to go to Hawaii to represent Maryland in the annual Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.
Ron Matz reports the 100 band members hope to go, but they need your help.
It’s the sound of music. The Westminster High School Marching Band has been invited to play in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii.
“We were selected by a committee that runs the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. They came to us and asked us if we would be willing to participate in the parade,” said Marching Band Director Jennifer Jones. “There were eight battleships moored at Pearl Harbor that fateful day. The USS Maryland was one of them. They select one band from each of those eight states to come for the parade.”
So far, they’ve raised about half the $150,000 needed to make the trip.
“We’re all really excited. We’re hoping it will happen. We have a few more weeks to try and fundraise more. Everyone’s really trying hard to make it happen,” said color guard member Elizabeth Strack.
“Our deadline is in the next two to three weeks. We still have to raise about $75,000. Not only do we have to pay for ourselves to go, we have to take all this equipment. We’ve gotten quotes from $20,000 to $40,000 just to take our stuff with us,” Jones said. “We’ve had a lot of smaller donations come in from alumni and veterans and from people who are just happy to give for us to go for this honor but we really need corporate donations to put us over the top.”
They’re dedication personified. They practice 12 hours a day during the summer.
“These kids have been working incredibly hard. They work hard, not just for parades and competition but for the program itself. They’ve given up a ton of their summer practicing 12 hours a day,” Jones said.
The trip would combine history with the music program.
“There’s a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work. These kids don’t see it as work; they see it as fun. To have an opportunity such as this Hawaii trip is motivation to have another chance to be with their friends and do something special for their school and their community,” said Brian Thompson, the marching band’s assistant director.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is Dec. 7 in Honolulu.