The Bradwell Institute Marching Tiger Band is raising money so it can take its sounds to Pennsylvania Avenue.
The band has been invited to play in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., the only high school band from the Coastal Empire asked to participate. But to cover the costs to send the strong band and its chaperones to D.C., the Bradwell Band Boosters working to raise the money — about $131,500.
“We’ve only got a few more months,” said band boosters president Yolanda Jackson. “We have been doing fundraisers. The kids are looking forward to it and that’s why we’re working so hard.”
The traveling party for the Independence Day event is 108, with band members, staff and parents together.
The cost per band member is projected to be $877, but that doesn’t cover all their expenses, such as meals, Jackson said.
“You’re looking at $1,000 per kid,” she said.
While raising money for the big trip, the band students also have been engaged in their student service activities, including Toys for Tots, Jackson pointed out. The band started raising money in August, once it got the invitation. Right now, there is a candle sale and soon there will be a calendar sale and a popcorn sale.
“We’re going to make the goal,” Jackson said. “There are some needs.”
One of the fundraising tactics is to have the previous graduating classes raise a total equal to their graduating year.
Jackson also praised BI band director Aubrey Simmons for his work with the unit, which has been the Viewer’s Choice Award winner for three straight years. Simmons is also the assistant band director at Savannah State University, where he is pursuing his master’s degree.
“Aubrey has taken this band program to a whole new level,” she said. “He has been super, super busy.”
The Bradwell band and its contingent will be in the nation’s capital from July 2–5.
“It’s going to be a great four days,” Jackson said. “We are very excited.”