Delton Kellogg High School band is heading to Pearl Harbor
DELTON, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A west Michigan high school band is heading to Pearl Harbor as part of this year's remembrance ceremony, and they need a little help getting there.
Delton Kellogg High School was one of only two schools in the country selected to play at this year's Pearl Harbor memorial and parade.
Newschannel 3's Jessica Wheeler visited Delton Kellogg High School to see how they’re preparing for the once-in-a-life-time trip.
This summer, there's one group that's spent more time at the Delton Kellogg football field than any other. Lap after lap, day after day, the marching band pounds the pavement.
"We're marching around the track four times, and we're out here so many hours,” said band member and Delton Kellogg senior Bram Donahue.
They’re working hard to prepare for their trip to the 50th state.
"Since we're doing a parade in Hawaii we have to practice doing them longer and longer," said band member Jon LeBeau, also a senior at Delton Kellogg.
These laps are part of their conditioning for the biggest stage they've ever seen.
Band director Sara Knight has been working with the musicians for months, ensuring that they're ready come December.
They were nominated by education and veterans’ groups to be part of the Pearl Harbor remembrance ceremony, and now the real work has begun.
"We kind of have to do some stamina building for the longer parade then we typically perform around here. So we're definitely working physically to be ready also," said Sara Knight, the band director at Delton Kellogg Schools.
Money-wise it's a huge endeavor to get all 40 band members to Hawaii and they are only about half way to their goal.
"We're trying to raise about $100,000; [that] would cover everyone in full,” Knight said.
She tells us the community has really stepped up with various fundraisers to make sure the band can take the trip.
"We had a lot of community dinners around town here,” said Knight.
For these musicians it's been a huge honor to prepare for.
"I was really surprised because we're not, you know, a big school and just to be invited to this was really exciting,” said Donahue.
Beyond the musical experience, they hope to be part of history, while getting a lesson they can't learn in the classroom.
"I hope they can get a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by our military,” said Knight.
The band will have three different performances while in Hawaii.
They still have about $60,000 left to raise and have a number of fundraising events coming up.
For more information, visit their Facebook Page.