Raytown High marching band performs in Holiday Bowl parade, halftime show in San Diego

RAYTOWN, Mo. -- Raytown High School's marching band took part in this year’s Holiday Bowl parade and halftime show Thursday in San Diego.

“My feet just tap along with the music," Erika Saccardi said, watching the band's parade performances of "Shut Up and Dance With Me" and the school fight song on Facebook. "I’ve listened to them play it a hundred times."

Raytown’s Marching Blue Jays left at 4:30 a.m. the morning after Christmas to head to San Diego. It was a trip a year in the making.

“We basically had fundraisers going from January through October for these kids to raise their money to send themselves to San Diego," said Saccardi, the mother of a sophomore trumpet player.

"In Kansas City, we are trying to practice for a parade when it’s very cold outside and ensuring them when they get to San Diego it’s a different experience," Band Director Joseph Hill said.

Band members visited the beach and the San Diego Zoo before Thursday's performances. They'll also tour the USS Midway and visit Sea World before they head back to Raytown.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for them to come down here and make memories with friends that they will have for the rest of their life," Hill said. "This is an experience they won’t forget."

Neither will the handful of parents who were lucky enough to accompany them on the trip or the legions of supporters who set their DVRs and listened to every note online.

“There’s a level of community pride knowing that our kids are representing us so well," Saccardi said.