ChHS band performs during National Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C.

Published 4:15 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – Members of the Chelsea High School Marching Hornet Pride recently enjoyed a once in a lifetime trip to Washington D.C. as they performed in the National Cherry Blossom Parade.

Chelsea High School’s marching band participated in the National Cherry Blossom Parade on Constitution Avenue in Washington D.C. on Saturday, April 13.

“The parade was great,” Director of Bands Perry Lawley said. “(It was a) really neat performance opportunity. We don’t have anything like that around here so it was kind of an eye opener for some of the students just how many (people) we’re there.”

As the band made its way down Constitution Avenue, it treated the crowd to a medley of patriots tunes in the form of a piece entitled, “Patriotic Salute.” The parade began in front of the National Archives building and then traveled down the avenue between The White house and the Washington Monument.

In addition to the memorable performance in the National Cherry Blossom Parade, the students were also treated with the opportunity to enjoy visiting many of the famous landmarks Washington D.C. has to offer.

“It was great,” Lawley said. “The kids enjoyed it (and) we tried to see as many sights as we could.”

On April 11, the band had the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery and observe the changing of the guard and a wreath laying ceremony—at which the students were able to meet with Staff Sgt. Wilson Childers, U.S. Army Band trumpet, who performed “Taps” at the ceremonies. Childers discussed his duties with the students and talked about the musical aspect of his service.

“He put himself on schedule to play those particular ceremonies knowing that we would be there, so we coordinated all that and it worked out perfectly,” Lawley said. “It was really a neat opportunity.”

The group left Alabama for the trip on Wednesday, April 10 and then after the parade and sightseeing, they spent April 14 traveling back home.

Lawley said the students were worn out in a good way by the end of the trip after all of the walking and activities keeping them busy.

“(It was) definitely memorable,” Lawley said. “It’s such a beautiful place and getting to march down Constitution Avenue that way—that’s just sort of a once in a lifetime opportunity.”