Pearl High School band to perform at the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C.

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 6:57 PM CDT
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PEARL, Miss. (WLBT) - Pearl High School received exciting news - getting to perform on a national stage in Washington, D.C.

It’s the second largest parade that happens every year in the U.S. capital.

”It’s just more exciting to kind of finish with a bang,” Senior trombone player, Jacob Lyons said.

The high school’s marching band is just days away from marching on one of the largest stages in the country - the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C.

“We’ve sent a video, filled out applications, that sort of thing. They reviewed those, obviously chose to put us in the parade and then got selected to be in the TV zone based on our just our marching presentation. There’s only one group that has been chosen for that this year. And it was us,” Director of Bands, Matt Rowan explained.

Students say they’re been preparing for this type of parade for years.

“It all kind of started back in Band Camp. And it was like Two long weeks. And then percussion does a bunch of other stuff throughout the summer,” Senior snare drum player, Jon Desposito said.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented them from opportunities like this over the past three years.

“This is the first trip I’m taking with the band since we couldn’t go to festival in junior high. So it’s going to be a really exciting, you know, moment,” Sophomore Drum Major, Diana Hernandez said.

“It’s really big to us, because this is the only time we’re gonna get to do it with this group and with these people, and I think it’s really cool,” Junior Head Drum Major, Elizabeth Sudduth said.

While the Parade List is extensive, Pearl High School is the only group that will be representing the Mississippi - something students see as a privilege.

“It feels a great honor, it feels like we put in a great amount of work to be in such a great position to be selected out of many bands to be part of something that’s going to be seen throughout the nation,” Senior tuba player, Brando Morales-Baldez said

“It’s been a long standing tradition that honestly it helps our students you know, they know that that’s a big, big deal and they know what level they have to rise to,” Rowan said.

If you would like to watch these students perform in the parade this Saturday, click here.

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