LOGAN — Late Sunday night, the students of the Logan High School Marching Band and chaperones made it home after a long and eventful few days in Washington, D.C.
The Marching Chieftains and their chaperones left bright and early Thursday morning for the long bus trip to the Capital to prepare for a performance in the National Cherry Blossom Parade, which was held on Saturday.
The trip was the culmination of three years of work by Logan High School Band Director Jeff North, who worked diligently to make sure the requirements to perform at the parade were met by submitting photos and DVDs of the band’s performances.
Once the invitation was extended by the parade committee in Washington, D.C., North was able to announce the trip and the students and Band Boosters could begin raising funds to pay for it.
The trip cost well over $100,000, but by the time the director made the students aware of it, the Boosters had already raised nearly $60,000 to contribute, significantly reducing the burden on the students and their families.
The students worked hard to make sure they were in top shape for the parade, as the crowd cheered wildly for the Marching Chieftains’ flashy and classy style.
“The students performed superbly,” said North. “I had tears running down my face marching with the band down Constitution Avenue. Their representation of Logan was much to be proud of; they were first class.”
The students were also extremely proud of each other for their performance.
“The trip was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to see our nation’s Capital,” said sophomore Shasta Kamara. “We worked hard for this parade and we did great.”
“I loved this trip,” agreed Emilee Smith, who is also a sophomore. “It was a lot of fun to be with everyone in D.C.”
The band had the chance to see some of the most amazing and historic sites that our nation has to offer, including the national memorials and monuments, the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol building.
On Friday evening, the group enjoyed a dinner and dance cruise, flooding social media with photos of the band members dressed to the nines, and even a rather spectacular video of North showing off his fancy footwork to Everybody Dance Now by C+C Music Factory.
Though the band played hard, they worked even harder, and four members of the band were invited to participate in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
“I wish every citizen from Hocking County could have been there for the laying of the wreath by our own Marching Chieftain band officers at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier,” said North. “I don’t have words to describe this experience. I am so fortunate to be the band director here and to have such great kids!”
Marching band vice president Hanna Barlow was very moved by the experience.
“The memories I made on this trip will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Barlow, who is a senior this year. “Participating in the wreath ceremony was an amazing and chilling experience. I’m so thankful to have been part of such a wonderful trip.”
The Logan Band Boosters also expressed their thanks to the band members for doing such a great job representing the school and Hocking County as a whole. They, along with the band members, were also extremely appreciative of the community for the tremendous amount of support they received, saying that the trip would not have been possible otherwise.
Besides contributing monetarily, many residents traveled with the band to cheer them on and provide water along the parade route, offering any assistance that the students needed. Boosters shared that they feel very blessed to have the support of the community in this way, and invited the community to check out the bands pictures on their Facebook page.
Currently, the band is gearing up for the spring concert, which is scheduled for Friday April 29 starting at 7 p.m. at Logan High School. There is a pizza dinner scheduled from 5 p.m. to to 6:30 p.m. while the Jazz band performs.