LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Little Rock Central High School marching band will leave for the trip of a lifetime Thursday morning. The band and flag line are performing in President Barack Obama's inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.
Students held their final rehearsal Wednesday afternoon before they leave on their trip. Their performance is Monday.
They will be playing "the Battle Hymn of the Republic" during the one-and-a-half mile parade route.
"You can feel the excitement. See the excitement," says band director Brice Evans.
Evans' students accomplished the task of raising $100,000 for the trip in just three weeks.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of you. We have done so much. Not only did we raise the money to go on the trip, but we got ready to do the performance, too," Evans told his students Wednesday.
"It was a little nerve-wracking from our rehearsal a few days ago to where we need to be for the President, but we really pulled it together on the last day," says drum major Maryssa Barron.
Besides performing for the President, there is another big reason why this trip is such a big deal to a lot of these students.
"I, along with many of the other students in our band, aren't in a financial situation where they're able to travel much. Where I'm not able to travel much, and so, for many this is the first time out of state at all. So, it's an incredible experience," says Barron.
The buses roll into Washington Friday, giving the students time to see buildings and memorials they've only seen in books and on TV. Plus, they will get to see the President in person.
"I'm just going to be holding my head up straight, hoping I'm in step and maybe wink," says Barron.
The students meet at the high school at 5 a.m. The buses leave at 6. If they are late, they might not be able to tour the Capitol Building Friday.