The Henryetta high school band is about halfway to it’s goal of $60,000 to participate in the National Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C.
That was the message from band director Alan Montgomery to the Lions and Rotary clubs this week.
This is the second time the band has been invited to participate in the parade. The Knight Brigade appeared before over 300,000 spectators in May, 2013. “It’s one thing to be invited to a party, it’s an honor to be invited back,” Montgomery said.
“This is an expensive trip but it is well worthwhile. Its not just about taking the kids to march in the parade. They will be going to Arlington Cemetery, witness the changing of the guard, see the Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson monuments and other memorials. For a lot of the kids this will put them in front of the things they have only read about in history books before.”
Band members have been busy since last summer raising money for the trip. Their efforts have ranged from collecting old shoes to car washes, selling candy and now holding a bowling tournament.
“We are also flocking houses and businesses,” Montgomery said. “We have two flocks of bright pink plastic flamingos that our band kids will place with a sign saying that area has been flocked. For a small fee, we will remove them and let the birds got to another roost.” People can buy “flocking insurance” to make sure they don’t get a visit from the birds or, for another fee, direct the flocks to the yard of a friend of business associate.
Next month the band will be performing at a Tulsa Oiler ice hockey game. The band will be performing in the lobby then move to the center of the ice rink for a rendition of the Veterans Salute. “Our logo is on the Tulsa Oiler website and, if someone clicks on it, they can buy their game tickets with a percentage of that money coming back to us.”
Montgomery said the trip is in keeping with a long tradition of the HHS band performing before national audiences.
That started in January 1956 when the band marched in the Rose parade, participated in the 1961 JFK inauguration, played for the Cherry Blossom festival in Washington, D.C. in 1996, and traveled to Canton, Ohio for the Troy Aikman NFL Hall of Fame induction in 2006.
By a twist of the calendar, the Memorial Day parade this year is being held on the same date, May 27, as the one the band participated in six years ago.
“For a lot of the kids, this will be an introduction to places they might not otherwise never get to see. It’s one thing to read about the Lincoln Memorial, it’s another to be there and actually touch his foot.”
The HHS band consists of 45 students at a cost of $877 for each. “We had the VFW post volunteer to pay the cost for one of our students,” he pointed out.
Anyone wishing to donate to the trip should contact Montgomery at the high school.


Band Marches in Memorial Day Parade

Band Trip to D.C.