Members of the Liberty North high school symphonic band react when their band teacher surprises them by announcing the marching band has been selected to participate in President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Parade. (Image courtesy Monty Davis)
Seventy Liberty North High School students are in Washington, D.C. Monday morning to play in the Presidential Inauguration Day Parade.
The Liberty North high school band was chosen from a pool of nearly 2,800 applicants.
LIBERTY, MO (KCTV) -
Seventy Liberty North High School students are in Washington, D.C., Monday morning to play in the Presidential Inauguration Day Parade.
The band was chosen to play in the patriotic ceremony from a pool of nearly 2,800 applicants, and will march in front of thousands including the Commander-in-Chief.
"Millions of people see it and a bunch of people are there to actually see the parade. We get to go behind the scenes to get to see things some people will never get to see. It's really exciting," senior Kristin Holleman said.
The selection process included members of military bands reviewing video and audio files of performances to judge the skills of marching bands, musical acts and drill teams.
"This is an incredible accomplishment and honor for the students, faculty and staff of Liberty Public Schools," the district's Director of Fine Arts Aaron Money said. "Congratulations go to these hardworking and talented students, the dedicated band faculty and staff, and the entire Liberty community that wholeheartedly support the arts in our schools."
Band director Shane Fuller has received awards for outstanding field, show, parade and overall musicality.
"It is a great honor for the Liberty North Marching Band to have been selected as one of Missouri's representatives in the Presidential Inaugural Parade," Fuller said. "We are proud to represent LPS and the great community of Liberty on this national stage."
The "Screamin' Eagles" were nominated by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and were the only marching band in Missouri selected to perform. They will join 47 other bands from throughout the United States in the parade.
"I'm thrilled the kids at Liberty North High School will have the opportunity to represent Missouri and help our country celebrate such an important day," said McCaskill in a written statement. "They have a history of music excellence in the community and I look forward to hearing them share that with the rest of the country."
Read a copy of McCaskill's letter on her website, HERE.
The band will also become the first marching band in the history of Liberty Public Schools to participate in the event.
Inaugural parades are a time-honored tradition following a president's swearing in, beginning with the local militias that accompanied George Washington from his Virginia home to New York, where his inauguration was held in 1789.
Pres. Barack Obama took the oath of office Jan. 20 during a private swearing-in ceremony at the White House for a second term as the 44th president of the United States.
A private ceremony is tradition when Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday.
Three days of events, beginning Saturday, Jan. 19, and ending Monday, Jan. 21, are being organized by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in celebration.
All 70 band members loaded up on a bus Saturday to make the drive to Washington, D.C. They have been training in cold outdoor temperatures to prepare for Monday's nearly 2-mile parade route.
Because the band members are not members of the military, they are not asked to salute the president.
Instead, they are told to look to the left as the traditional salute to the president when passing the area he will be watching the parade.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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