Final preparations are underway as the Loara High School Marching Band gets ready to travel to Washington D.C. to perform at the National Memorial Day Parade.
100 students and 35 chaperones will be making this once in a lifetime trip to march down Constitution Avenue and be only school to represent the state of California at the nation’s capital.
About a year ago, band director Scott Domingues received an email from Music Celebration stating that Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait had nominated the Loara band to be the California representative at the Memorial Day parade in Washington D.C.
Domingues said he ignored the email because he receives emails all the time for his band to go on trips.
The school’s principal however received that same email and approached Domingues enthusiastically encouraging him to go on this trip. Domingues said that he took a deep breath and started thinking about the expenses, time and everything that it will take to fly 100 students and chaperones across the country.
After thinking it over, Domingues asked his students if they were interested in this trip. They agreed that this would be a great opportunity for them.
“I sort of went into it hoping for the best not necessarily expecting that it was going to happen,”Domingues said. “Feedback was really high the principal got us new instruments and the community got really excited.”
Domingues explained that banks, faculty and administration provided a lot of donations. The alumni association and administrators also helped pay the expenses for students who would not be able to afford this trip.
“For our community to spend $1200 a family to fly out to Washington is a pretty big deal,” Domingues said.
Drum major Rose Torrez explained her thoughts and feelings about being the person who will lead the band down the nation’s capital.
“I was kind of whatever about it at first, this is just another trip or another run,” Torrez said. “But as it progresses and the days are coming closer, I’m starting to get really excited, I have never been to D.C. so I think it will be an eye opening experience.”
Not many of the students have traveled to the East Coast. Domingues added that it is slowly starting to settle in that they will be seeing all these monuments that they have for the most part only seen through photos or on television.
Lara High School principal John Briquelet expressed how proud he is of everyone who was involved to make this trip possible for the students.
“Our band program is home to some of the most dedicated and talented people I’ve ever known, and they are truly worthy of representing California in the parade,” Briquelet said. “I am also very excited for our kids because most will be visiting our nation’s capital for the first time, and I know the experience will be one they’ll treasure for a lifetime. It just doesn’t get any better than this.”
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