Musicians Perform for Patriots

Grant Chudler, Staff Writer

75 band and orchestra students will be traveling to Los Angeles to perform for retired war veterans from Saturday, November 9 to Monday, November 11.

According to band teacher Johnny Johnson, while not every band student will attend the trip, their absence will not disrupt the performance .”We’re missing few enough people that we could still perform adequately with proper instrumentation,” he said.

Johnson and assistant principal Sharon Bartlett will be supervising the trip. They will leave at 9 a.m. Saturday and return Monday evening. The students will be staying at a Residence Inn Hotel near Anaheim, and will get to Los Angeles by bus. Students will pay $300 to cover transportation and housing costs. Additional funding came from previous fundraising.

Saturday, the students will attend a La Philharmonic concert. On Sunday, they will perform a backstage soundtrack session for a show at Disneyland. After their performance, the students will spend time at the amusement park’s attractions.

On Monday, Veterans’ Day, the students will visit to the Veterans’ Home of West Los Angeles to perform. Johnson said, “We are going to perform our patriotic duty as a musical entity.”

Planning for the trip began last summer. Arrangements included contacting the veterans’ home to set a date for the performance. According to Johnson, the home was “ecstatic” that the students wanted to perform. Disney also had to be contacted to see if the students would be allowed to perform. Students and parents were informed of the trip once performance dates were set.

“We’re playing patriotic songs. We’re playing ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ and ‘American Elegy,'” Sophomore Jacob Brickman said.

“Music provides a focal point for reflection on what that day means, and we’ll have the veterans to with us to experience that,” Johnson explained.