BGHS band students prepare for week in Washington, D.C. PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD, Sentinel Education Editor   
Thursday, 28 March 2013 10:01
Bowling Green High School band students are making final preparations for their week-long trip to Washington, D.C.
One-hundred-twenty-six members of the band, along with 29 chaperones, will leave Tuesday and return April 7.
Twenty-four band members chose not to make the trip.
"Everyone who wants to go is going," said Karen Smith, director of bands.
Performances are scheduled for Wednesday at the World War II memorial, and April 6 at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va.
The concert on the National Mall will include patriotic music, including the "Stars and Stripes Forever" march. At Busch Gardens' main stage, students will perform pop music, then enjoy a day at the park before departing that evening for home.
This is the first visit by the band to Washington since 1985, Smith said.
Four years ago, the band traveled to Boston. In 2004, it was a week-long trip to Scotland.
But because of a policy set by the district's board of education, student groups can no longer travel overseas.
No student will take two trips.
"It's a once-in-your-lifetime in high school," Smith said.
The group was supposed to tour the White House, but the government sequestration changed that plan.
The week will include tours of the Capitol, plus the Smithsonian museums: the American History Museum, the National History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. Students are also recommended to visit the National Gallery of Arts.
After their performance Wednesday, students, staff and parents will take a dinner cruise on the Potomac River.
On Thursday, the group will tour Arlington National Cemetery and travel to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. Dinner will be at Union Station.
Special arrangements also have been made to visit John Phillip Sousa Hall, home of the U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own, at the Marine Barracks Annex near the Navy Yard. The group will be guests as a private audience during a dress rehearsal for an upcoming public performance by the military band. Arrangements for the visit were made by Staff Sgt. Ryan Nolan, a Bowling Green State University graduate.
The group will stay in Silver Springs, Md.  
The cost is $825 per student, and funds were earned by the band members and band boosters with fundraisers the last 21 months.
No public funds are being used for the trip, which will take place over spring break so students won't miss any school.
"We did not let need stop anyone," Smith said. The group "partially scholarshipped a lot of kids from fundraising and donations."
David Shilling, Bill Abbott, Dan Paulus and Jay Simler have led the fundraising committee and will still accept further business, private or service club contributions.
All individuals, businesses and service clubs who have supported the band this year will be honored at a special concert on May 11 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Entitled the Donors' Recognition Concert, the event is open to the public but will have designated seating for those whose contributions have been received through April 30.

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