June 16, 2010 Edition

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Hoxie High School Band members (front, from left) Jennifer Poteete, Cerina Kopp, Dannie Vaughn, Searra Gordon, Mandy Simmons; (middle) Nikki Tribble, Geena Conrey, Alex Ditto, Nik Ryan, Michael Johnson, Shea Grissom, Canaan Craig; (back) Tyler Cullum, Jessica Tribble, Dalton Henson, Cody Gage, Logan Hibbard, Danielle Benes, Megan Baltz, Thomas Poteete, Savanna Floyd and Destiny Gosha pose in front of the White House during the band's recent trip to Washington, D.C.
Submitted Photo

Hoxie band marches
in D.C. parade

Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

The Hoxie High School Band marked the end of a successful year by serving as Arkansas' official representative at the National Memorial Day Parade held during Memorial Day weekend in Washington, D.C.

The parade, which is held annually by the American Veterans Center, serves as an opportunity for patriotic Americans to come together and honor those serving our country.

"It was a great honor to be selected to represent Arkansas, as well as our community and school," Amanda Riley, Hoxie High School Band assistant director, said.

The group was nominated for the position by area band directors and was chosen to serve as representative by Music Celebrations International, a professional tour organizer in connection with the parade.

At the event, the band performed the Army Hymn and the Navy Hymn and was the only band to perform military music in the parade.

"It was a real treat when the vets stood up and cheered us on," Riley said.

In addition to the parade, the band also received a private tour of the Capitol from Senator Blanche Lambert Lincoln's staff members and attended the National Memorial Day Concert held on the Capitol's West Lawn.

"We got to tour places in the Capitol that most people can't," said Shea Grissom, a 10th grader and band member.

Emmy Award winner Gary Sinise and Tony Award winner Joe Mantegna co-hosted the concert, which featured celebrities Lionel Richey, Dennis Haysbert and General Colin L. Powell. Country singer Brad Paisley also entertained.

"It was a life-changing experience," Grissom said.

"The concert was powerful," said Riley. "It was amazing to hear and feel the stories told by the actors."

Students also toured the city and visited several landmarks including the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetary, Ford's Theater, the National Mall, two of the nine Smithsonian Museums and the World War II and Vietnam Monuments.

"It was amazing to see the city," Danny Vaughn, band member and seventh grade student, said. "Just the sight of Washington, D.C., could take your breath away."

The Hoxie High School Band is considered a marching band and is available to Hoxie students in grades seventh through 12th.

"We are so proud of the hard work that the students have given us this year, along with their dedication to the program," said Riley.

"As a director it's a treat to look back to the beginning of the year and see how we have grown individually as musicians and as a band."

During the recent marching season, the Hoxie High School Band received 27 trophies, and was named Class A winner and finished seventh overall at the Arkansas Open, held at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. The band also received excellent ratings at Region 8 marching and concert assessments.

"We are looking forward to accomplishments in the upcoming year," Riley said.

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