The Marching Blue Jays plan to return to Washington, D.C., in May to march in the National Memorial Day Parade.
The parade is a tribute to America’s veterans, especially those who died serving their country.
Previously, the band traveled by bus to Washington, D.C., to march in Howard University’s homecoming parade in 2013.
“I’m excited. I’ve never been to D.C., and if I see the president, I will freak out,” said freshman Darius Lawrence, who plays tenor saxophone for the band.
“Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, who’s our former mayor, nominated our marching band to perform,” said Band Director David Miller. The band plans to spend the holiday weekend in D.C., representing Michigan.
Last year the Falcon Marching Band of Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights had the honor of representing Michigan in the D.C. parade, along with the John F. Kennedy Marching Band, of Taylor, Michigan.
The Blue Jays plan to travel by bus and stay for three nights at a hotel, Miller said.
“I’m very excited to perform and looking forward to being on television,” said senior head drum major Breanna Cross.
Cross visited Washington, D.C., with the band two years ago when she marched as a piccolo player, but this year she is a drum major. “I am most definitely looking forward to touring historical monuments with my band family,” Cross said.
The band will be collaborating with the other 49 bands from around the country to play a selection as a whole at the Arlington National Cemetery, which is across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
This collaboration is a very significant experience for the Southfield Marching Blue Jays because it’s something they’ve never done before, Miller said.
To raise the $600 per person trip fee, band members will “tag” outside Southfield businesses. Tagging is appearing in band uniform in a public place to solicit donations for the band.
Parents are expected to provide whatever money is not raised through tagging, Miller said.
On their last trip to D.C., the band met with the band directors at Howard University. They also had the opportunity to watch Howard’s Band perform on a big screen television.