SPOKANE VALLEY -- Band students from Central Valley High School will be in Washington, D.C. to represent Washington State in the Presidential Inaugural Parade.
Just a few high schools in the country are picked to participate. One year ago, the Central Valley High School marching band and color guard set a goal to march down Pennsylvania Avenue. The students started raising money to meet their goal. Band Director Eric Parker planned the trip with no formal invitation.
"It was kind of like trying to get into a party you are not invited to hoping they let you in when you show up 3,000 miles away," said Parker.
Parker got a call on his cell phone after a rigorous application process right before the holidays. He plugged his phone into the sound system in the band room.
"I didn't tell them (students) what we were listening until they said...from the Presidential Inaugural Committee...dead silence in the class room," recalled Parker.
The committee selected the band from more than 2,800 applications. Central Valley High School will be one of only 14 high school bands participating.
"We are really in an elite group. We've won tons of things, have a great program, we deserve it," said Parker.
Drum Major Katy Dolan will lead the group of more than 130 students down the mall. The band will play a collection of civil and revolutionary war tunes ending with the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
The students raised more than $100,000 for the trip. Someone has volunteered to drive the band instruments to Washington, D.C.