XENIA — Members of the Xenia High School marching band are getting a chance to perform on one of the country’s biggest stages.
The band will take part in a parade Thursday, March 23 at Orlando’s Universal Studios, where thousands will line the theme park’s sidewalks to see Xenia and two other high school bands fill the warm Florida air with music. The 41 members and 13 adult chaperones leave from the high school school around 7 p.m. Sunday, March 19.
This trip is the culmination of years of hard work for many band members.
“Being a senior I have waited for this trip for a while, four years of hard work and this is my last chance to enjoy everything that I have come to love about our band program,” said senior Chase Keys. “When we finally arrive in Florida I’m beyond excited to spend time with my friends goofing off at the beach, but I’m also scared … Because this is it for me and I don’t want to go yet. I want to stay with this band for just a little longer. But even though I can’t stay I know I won’t forget all the fun we had.”
The band is scheduled to arrive at the Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach Monday, March 20 and then head to the host hotel. In addition to the parade, they will be driving go-carts at Magical Midway, exploring the parks of Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, and being entertained at the Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, where they get to be part of the show.
“I am super excited to go to Florida because I don’t typically get to go on vacations, so it’s really cool that I get to go with my best friends and the boosters have helped to make it pretty affordable for such a cool trip,” said senior Megan Miller. “I’m most excited to go to Universal because I’ve always seen advertisements for it, but never imagined that I would ever actually be able to go there. Band means to me that I can do something I love, which is make music, with my best friends. I love everyone that I’ve been able to meet through band, even the directors and band parents.”
Added senior Madeline Prindle, “I can’t think of a better way to end my final season then to march at Universal Orlando.”
“Marching band has been an amazing part of my high school experience over the past four years and will definitely be what I miss the most,” she said. “As a section leader I have gotten the privilege to watch the band go from a high school marching band to a family. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to represent Xenia High School and our community in Orlando.”
For the newer band members, the trip is a chance to get to know each other better.
“Looking forward to bonding more with the band members and playing for more than just the (Xenia) community,” said freshman Jonathan Patterson. “To me, band means family.”
The entire community is invited to a send-off March 19. Band members are set to arrive at the high school 5:30 p.m., and will rehearse a bit outside before boarding the bus, which was paid for by the band boosters to help keep the trip’s cost down.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.