Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Northeast High band to play inaugural music festival

Northeast High band members Ariel Stewart, left, and Hallie Dunlap, both 16, rehearse with their flutes at band practice Tuesday.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times\uFEFF

Northeast High band members Ariel Stewart, left, and Hallie Dunlap, both 16, rehearse with their flutes at band practice Tuesday.

The biggest question for the Northeast High School band was who else would be in attendance. They already knew they would be there.

In February, director Greg Urban found out his band would be among hundreds to attend the inauguration of the 44th president in Washington, D.C. The group will perform in the Heritage Presidential Inauguration Music Festival on Jan. 18.

Dressed in formal evening wear, they'll play three numbers including Sleep by Eric Whitacre, Fusion by Brian Balmages and Americans We by Henry Fillmore.

The trip will include many firsts for some members of the group, including first visits to the nation's capital, first gala attendance — some are even pulling for a first experience with snow.

The trip, however, will come at a huge cost during financially tough times for many. The band estimates it will cost more than $750 per student, and members are trying to raise money to cover the expense.

On Thursday they'll host a winter concert, and proceeds will help fund the trip. Band members also have sold candles and traversed the school halls hawking candy bars. They're also soliciting contributions from the community.

Back in the fall of 2007, Urban applied for them to attend the inauguration music festival. He was surprised later to learn their application had been accepted.

About a year ago in the heat of the election primaries, students began to speculate on who would be sworn in at the ceremony. Urban was delighted to see his students so engaged in politics.

"You'd come and people would be saying Obama this or McCain that," said Danielle Batchellor, 17, president of the band and a trombone player. "We definitely followed the duration of the campaign."

Now the band is gearing up for its performance, practicing tirelessly.

"I think it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said senior Mike Mallen, 17, a percussionist.

"I don't think the magnitude of it has hit me yet. I'll tell my children and grandchildren that I was there for the swearing-in of the first black president," he said.

The group will be in Washington from Jan. 15 through Jan. 21. They'll be on the National Mall for the inauguration.

The chance to perform in the nation's capital during the inaugural festivities is a triumph for the 80-member band, said Urban, 33. A few years ago, when he became the school band director, things weren't in the best shape.

"We might have been the worst band in Pinellas County," he said. There were about 60 fewer members of the group, and they needed to be improved "in almost every area," Urban said.

The musical selections they will perform were not picked for any particular reason, except that they were a good fit for the band, Urban said.

President-elect Obama's inauguration has generated tremendous interest from people wanting to attend. Tickets have been in high demand, and officials predict record turnout in the millions for the swearing-in. Enterprising D.C. residents have rented out their apartments and condos for thousands a night during the week. Hotels have long been sold out.

Austin Bogues can be reached at abogues@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8872.

On the web

Scarlet Regiment

For more information on the Northeast High School Band, visit http://web.mac.com/scarletregiment.

Northeast High band to play inaugural music festival 12/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, December 18, 2008 2:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.
  2. Kushner discloses additional $10M in assets

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner "inadvertently omitted" more than 70 assets worth at least $10.6 million from his personal financial disclosure reports, according to revised paperwork released Friday.

    Kushner
  3. Virtual line tech leads to long waits at Universal's Volcano Bay

    ORLANDO — Customers are keeping Universal Orlando's new Volcano Bay waterpark filled to capacity most days, but not all are pleased with the experience.

  4. Police: Errant U.S. bombing kills 12 Afghan security forces

    World

    KABUL, Afghanistan — An errant U.S. airstrike confirmed by the Pentagon killed 12 Afghan National Police officers and wounded two others, as another 11 police were killed and six wounded in clashes with the Taliban, Afghan officials said Saturday.

  5. Races are reversed in a police killing, and again a family asks: Why?

    Nation

    MINNEAPOLIS — There was something bad going on in the alleyway behind the house, she told her fiancé on the phone, someone who sounded as if she was in distress, maybe a rape. It was past 11 p.m., and most people on Washburn Avenue were furled in their beds.

    joint cutline 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch of body type 1 inch 1 inch