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NKHS Marching Band D.C. bound?

The North Kitsap Marching Band performs annually in the Viking Fest Parade. In January, the band could have its biggest gig yet: the presidential inauguration. Here, drum major Thomas Leonard leads the band in the 2012 Viking Fest Parade.               - Richard Walker / Herald
The North Kitsap Marching Band performs annually in the Viking Fest Parade. In January, the band could have its biggest gig yet: the presidential inauguration. Here, drum major Thomas Leonard leads the band in the 2012 Viking Fest Parade.
— image credit: Richard Walker / Herald

POULSBO — The North Kitsap High School Marching Band and Band Boosters may have a tall order to fill. A $50,000 order, actually.

Earlier in June, the  marching band was selected to apply for a spot in the 2013 presidential inauguration. The chance to apply was announced in front of an already enthusiastic crowd June 15 during the 2012 graduation ceremony. However, there are some timing issues.

According to band director Susan Peters, the band won’t know if it’s selected to perform until after the Nov. 6 presidential election. And the North Kitsap School Board needs to approve travel of a certain distance.

Still, Peters wants to pursue the event.

“Our biggest obstacle that we’re looking at is fundraising,” Peters said.

Waiting until after selection notification won’t provide enough time to raise the necessary funds to go, about $56,000, or $1,500 per student. That means fundraising must begin now.

Fundraising is well-tuned within the band program. Students raise money throughout the year for everything — instruments, uniforms, travel, etc. The Band Boosters oversee fundraising opportunities. The band program’s annual budget is $20,000, which helps with instrument repair, transportation, meals and guest visits.

The inauguration?

“That’s just more fundraising,” Peters said.

The school board has to approve the trip because of the criteria set by the district’s risk management team. Peters said she doesn’t see of a reason for the board to say “no,” since the board has supported the band in the past.

School Board president Kathleen Dassel first heard about the invitation during the graduation ceremony. As a board, the topic of the trip has not been discussed. Dassel said she planned to bring it up during the regular board meeting June 28.

Though she could not speak for the board, she personally supports the idea of the band going.

“I think that is just fabulous,” she said. “It’s such an honor and a thrill. This is just an extraordinary opportunity.”

Though the amount of money to raise is relatively high, Dassel said there should be enough time.

“The band boosters are really involved,” she said. “Whatever has to be done, has to be done.”

In addition to fundraising, Peters said there are “all kinds of hoops” the band will have to jump through to be accepted. It’s like qualifying to march in the Rose Bowl Parade, she said.

If accepted, the band would represent Washington state at the inauguration.

Back in 1992, when she was a school band instructor in Eagle, Idaho, her band was invited to the Clinton inauguration. The school district said “no” because it required traveling more than 3,000 miles.

This time, Peters will ask for permission in advance.

 

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