This Memorial Day weekend will not only celebrate great Americans who have gone before us, it will celebrate young Americans who have marched their way through one fund raising effort after another, all year long, in order to represent their small town on a national level.
The Cheraw High School Band, known as The Tribe, has raised nearly $40,000 during the past school year, enabling members to accept an invitation to march in the Washington, D.C., Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28, at 2 p.m.
Throughout the year students have sold fruit, doughnuts, coffee, candy, T-shirts, hoodies, and cow bells to raise the money needed for the trip. They also hosted meals at FATZ Cafe, operated a booth at Spring Festival and managed to get even more in donations from local businesses; including the Town of Cheraw which contributed $2,000 towards their journey.
According to Chris Hathcock, the band’s director, their performance will be aired on the Fox network in Washington, Philadelphia and Boston. However, locally, the best chances for catching the broadcast should be the Pentagon Network or C-SPAN.
The parade route will take the band from 7th Street to 17th Street, Hathcock said, and should last about two hours. The Tribe will be playing a Patriotic Parade Sequence, featuring percussion, that includes the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” and “America the Beautiful.”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity for the students to perform in a national venue,” said Hathcock, but that will be just one highlight of the trip. Their stay in Washington will be a “complete cross-curriculum experience in a cosmopolitan atmosphere,” said Hathcock. While there, the band of nearly 60 students will visit several museums and attend a concert on the West Lawn of the Capital given by the National Symphony Orchestra. Their cultural experiences will encompass music, art, history, science and more, said Hathcock.
“I’m looking forward to visiting the museums, the memorials for Martin Luther King Jr., the Vietnam Wall, and just being there to play in the parade,” said freshman member Leatha Cue, adding that it’s going to be great to represent our small town to the whole country.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, ext. 224, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.