In the Wednesday, Dec. 23 issue of Journal West, reporter Jenny Drabble writes about the trip that members of the Reagan High School band are making to London. Photographer Lauren Carroll took the pictures.
Here is an excerpt:
Ninety high school students, a 10-hour flight and an airplane brimming with passengers cramped in tiny seats. Sounds like a fun way to spend the holidays, right?
When you’re headed to the land of the Beatles and spectacular castles at each turn, you’re willing to put up with just about anything, comfort aside. The chance to direct his band in one of the biggest parades in the world? Reagan band director Andrew Craft can’t imagine anything better.
“This is a pretty big stinking deal. This is their Macy’s (Day Parade),” Craft said. “Actually in terms of number of performers and areas broadcast, this is bigger than Macy’s. It’s certainly our biggest stage yet.”
The band’s 90 students will perform in front of about half a million spectators at the annual 2016 New Year’s Day Parade in London with millions more watching on TV. The parade, featuring nearly 10,000 performers from more than 20 countries, will be aired on BBC.
The Reagan band was selected last fall as one of about 10 in the U.S. to perform in the annual parade.
“It’s really a surreal feeling because the biggest crowd I’ve ever had watching me is at a soccer game and that can’t even compare to what it’s going to be like in London,” junior Jordan Harm said. “It’s really exciting, I never thought I’d get an opportunity like this.”
Though most of the students participating in the London trip, which runs Sunday to Jan. 3, participate in the school’s marching band, some, like Harm, have never been in a parade before. Learning to march and memorizing the music in a month’s time was an added challenge, he said.
The instruments were shipped two weeks before the parade, which cut out practice time, as the students had to practice without instruments, focusing on perfecting the choreography instead.
“We’ve worked really hard as a band, so we’re ready for this,” Harm, who plays the mellophone, said. “I’m super excited. I’ve never been overseas before, so I can’t wait to see the culture and explore a new country with all my friends.”
To read the rest of the story, go to Journal West