Jackson Jaguars Marching Band Prepares For Inaugural Parade [VIDEO]
Monday will be a very long day for the Jackson Jaguars Marching Band as they start their day very early to march in President Obama's inaugural parade.
The band will board 4 charter buses at 2AM along with Jackson Memorial Principal Kevin Dieugenio & Vice Principal Kevin McDevitt for the trip to Washington D.C. where they will march in the first division of President Obama's inaugural parade on Monday afternoon.
Band Director Bud McCormick estimates they will play "God Bless America" 10 times on the mile-and-a-half parade route, each time to a different audience.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
The kids are "really excited" about the trip and McCormick laughs that he is getting panic calls from band members who have misplaced their ID, the one item they must have with them at all times besides their instrument.
In Washington the band will be screened by security a total of four times before they assemble for their march past the Capital and a newly inaugurated President. McCormick & Assistant Director Jason Diaz will march alongside the band.
The honor has meant a lot of practice for the band with 4 days a week after school rehearsals.
Almost 200 members of the band will make the trip including 15 letter carriers holding cards reading J-A-C-K-S-O-N M-E-M-O-R-I-A-L, 24 flag holders and 150 musicians including McCormick's 8th grade daughter Ceci who plays trombone at Bradley Beach Elementary School. "She has connections," said the bearded band director with a smile in his voice.
VETERANS OF THE NATIONAL STAGE
The closest the band will come to President Obama will be 5-10 feet as they march past the reviewing stand surrounded by 21-foot television screens.
McCormick and Assistant Band Director Jason Diaz will head down on Sunday for mandatory meetings and last minute arrangements and then meet the band at on Monday morning at 7:30AM when they arrive at the Pentagon in full uniform.
The Marching Jaguars are seasoned performers on the national stage; they marched in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day and also marched in the 2005 inaugural parade for President George W. Bush's second inaugural.
The band is also looking forward to meeting the Kamehameha Schools Warrior Marching Band from Honolulu, Hawaii who will be marching next to the Jaguars. The Warriors will march in next year's Tournament of Roses Parade and their Assistant Band Director, Charlie Iwanaga, attended this year as a guest of the parade presented McCormick with a "lei" of Hawaiian Kukui Nuts after watching Jackson Memorial perform. In ancient times, explains McCormick, the Kukui Nut was held in high regard and was reserved, to be worn by the ali`i, the reigning chiefs of Hawaii. They are usually worn by “men of distinction.” They can also be worn for protection.
McCormick in an email compared the two experiences."At Pasadena when we were dropped off, we had less than 15 minutes of waiting before we stepped off. At Washington DC, we need to go thru 4 security check points, and the students will be waiting for the parade to step off for approximately 7 hours."
Following the parade the band will go back to the Pentagon for dinner at a nearby mall before boarding their buses and the trip home to Jackson.
The Marching Jaguars are working on performances at some "BIG" name events but McCormick is mum for the moment on that as contracts are reviewed. "But I can say this: you will be hearing alot more about the jaguar band next year," says McCormick.
- Donations can be made to the Jackson Memorial Band Parent Association at PO Box 800, Jackson NJ 08527.