MURRYSVILLE (KDKA) — New Year’s Day, 2016. The Franklin Regional High School Marching Band hit their stride in Pasadena’s famed Rose Bowl Parade.
New York, 2009. They marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Now, they rehearse for an even bigger stage. Washington, DC. The Inaugural Parade. In Kevin Pollock’s 30th year as band director, he applied for the honor in October.
“After the election,” he says, “they make their decision. So I received a phone call the other day, and they asked if we were still willing to participate, and, of course, I said yes.”
The band will play a swing version of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Just one group of marchers from each state was chosen to participate.
“That’s amazing,” says drum major Jacob Wei. “Because there’s so many groups in Pennsylvania they could have chosen, and I’m really glad they chose us.”
“I’m definitely going to be nervous, deep down,” assistant drum major Mark DeCesare admits. “But it’s going to feel really good being able to march in front of that many people, on such a special occasion.”
“Everywhere we go, we put on a great show and we play great music and we keep having fantastic students come up and the directors are great teachers,” commanding officer Lauren Eckersley says. “I just think we do a great job with it.”
The band director admits the invitation did not provide much notice.
“I’m determined to enjoy my holiday break. And when we come back on Jan. 3, we’re going to be going after it, fast and furious. But we’ll be ready. I’m confident we’ll be ready,” said Pollock.