INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The Fort Osage High School marching band is heading to the Nation's Capital! Band members leave Saturday for Washington, D.C. — where they will participate in the National Independence Day Parade on Tuesday.
“I am so excited, it’s going to be so much fun,” said Marisa Peaslee, one band member who plays the clarinet.
“I’m getting to be a drum major in Washington D.C., which is really exciting, and I’m so excited for a lot of these kids to have an opportunity they probably never would have had,” added another band member, Olivia Jenkins.
More than 100 band members from Fort Osage High School will board buses Saturday —a trip that has been in the works since February of 2016.
“I received an email saying the mayor of Independence had nominated us to participate in this parade,” said Erica Gregory, the director of band at Fort Osage High School.
Gregory says she picked a medley of patriotic songs to play, and they’ve been practicing with evening rehearsals twice a week all through June.
“The kids work hard every day, we try to get better every single time we perform, we try to represent this school district and this community with a lot of pride,” Gregory added.
Parents say the kids put in so many hours, and their hard work is paying off.
“We are so very proud of these kids, I can speak for all the parents here,” said Christina Faris, who has two children in the band.
“They’re proud of us and it’s amped up the spirit,” added Peaslee.
“Everybody’s worked really hard, we’ve seen a lot of improvement,” Jenkins said.
They will represent Missouri in the parade…and they’ll also get to do some sightseeing in 48 hours.
“Band is cool, and we do get to do cool stuff, and we get to hang out with each other, and we get to just love what we do,” said Jenkins.
“I hope people are noticing how hard they’re working, and they’re growing in numbers, and they’re amazing kids, and I just can’t brag on them enough, so this is just one more way to reward the kids and kind of show them off to everybody,” added Gregory.
Buses leave from the high school around 4 p.m. Saturday — and will get to D.C. Sunday afternoon. They’ll be back July 5th.