Wildcat band on the run to D.C.
Musicians invited to perform before thousands at Memorial Day Parade
As long as members can raise enough money, the De Soto High School band will be marching upon Washington, D.C., next summer.
Band director Justin Love told the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education Monday night that the DHS Marching Wildcat Band was invited to represent Kansas at the 2006 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington.
Love said fund-raisers for the trip would start right away.
A goal was for all interested students to be able to go, Love said. Also, the director said it was important the band be well-represented to perform its best.
D.C.'s Memorial Day Parade is expected to draw a crowd of around 200,000, Love said. That's more than three times as many attendees as the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where the DHS band performed in front of 60,000 people a year ago.
"Wow" was a common response when students learned of their opportunity, Love said.
"They were very excited," he said. "Going to Washington is a pretty big deal. There's lots to do there."
Performing in the Parade is by invitation only, Love said, and De Soto was recommended from two directions.
An Olathe woman with a connection to the company charged with filling the bill for parade performers recommended the Wildcats, as did the band director at the University of Kansas.
Beyond those endorsements, Love said the band still underwent evaluation. They had to turn in a performance video, references and a list of performance history to prove they were of high enough caliber for the parade.
Love said that was a testament to his typical reminders, like always stay on beat.
"They've done a lot of checking on us since then," Love said. "You never know who's watching and why they're watching."