West Boca Band Marches Again


Nick Pagan, Guest Writer


On January 1st, 2020, our West Boca High school Vanguard band will be marching upon one of the most famous streets of the Capital of Westminster London for the second time performing live in front half a million spectators and millions of televised viewers tuned in from around the world. Lawrence Shane the director of bands explained the exhilarating opportunity as “a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students” and that “we are only one of only 15 bands in the entire U.S.” to perform in London’s New Year Day Parade. Winston Churchill’s grandson, Duncan Sandy’s, the former Lord mayor of Westminster, expressed his gratitude to the band by visiting the school campus to officially invite the WBHS band back to perform in the Parade. 

Our ambitious band can be seen steadily rehearsing for perfection in the burning hot school courtyards once a week after school. In due time, the around 130 members of WBHS band and 30 chaperones will depart for London on December 27th on a direct trans-Atlantic flight to a 7 day stay in London. Members will have to adjust to the five to six hour time shift as they land as they step off the plane at about 4:00 am.Soon, they will be further escorted to their luxurious Park Plaza Westminster Hotel where the band will be stationed for the trip and where they will store their instruments. The hotel beholds iconic views over big ben while additionally being a few miles away from the two historic Houses of Parliament which the band will surely visit during their stay. The band will also be served a European style buffet breakfast for breakfast as they visit London’s famous landmarks including the Palace of Westminster, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the tower of London, The British Museum, The Royal Observatory, IV league Universities, etc. As a warmup to their upcoming grand audience at the New Year’s Day Parade the band will have a concert performance at the LNYDP Festival Concert on December 29th at Cadogan Hall which beholds a 900-seat venue on Sloane Terrace in Chelsea. According to the band’s itinerary “Since 2001 it has been a concert hall of some renown musicians, and the home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.” Young musicians in band will be inspired by the rich musical culture that continues to influence modern music and breathes life into the streets of the city of London. When asked about how he felt about the future experience Alex Garmon a drumline section leader said, “I’m really excited to not only go to London for the first time in my life, but mostly I’m excited to experience it with all my friends.” Other band members feel the same way including Sebastion Perez a saxophone player who hopes to “create memories which the entirety of the band will treasure in the future.” With these responses it’s safe to say the band will carry their culturally reinforced musical passions along with them across the 3.2 km long parade route to play their very best. Therefore, coming home with an unforgettable experience that will alter and influence their whole musical career.

However, with the abundance of opportunity comes with an even larger price of about 3,000 dollars per musician to be included in the performance and the weeklong stay in London to explore various national landmarks. Many students struggle with this hearty price tag and are consequently singled out to participate in the trip. In response, the instructors in band are working with the school board to lower the price of the trip and pay for the equipment to perform there. The band has partnered with Fundraise Genius to collect secure donations from potential donors to fundraise finances for those members of band who may be unable to pay for the trip.

Further information on donations and rewards for submissions can be seen on wbhsvanguard.org.