Little Rock Students At President's Inauguration
12:00 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Little Rock's Central High Band To Perform At Pres. Inauguration

Background song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" played by the Little Rock Central High School Band during practice for the presidential inauguration

Little Rock’s Central High School marching band is getting geared up to take part in President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.

But with a week and a half to go, they are still working to raise money for the trip.

You can listen to KUAR’s Kezia Nanda’s report above.

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" is what the band will play at the inauguration on Monday, Jan. 21.

Central was the only school in Arkansas chosen to take part at the ceremony, marking the start of President Obama’s second term.

The Central High Band practices for the inauguration.
Credit Photo: Kezia Nanda

Rachel Anderson, a senior and percussionist, said “Performing in the presidential inauguration, obviously it’s an important event for anybody. It’s especially important to me because I’m a fan of President Obama. And just getting to do this with my band would be a great thing for me because band means everything to me and it would just be really important to do that.”

Trombone player, Joshua Taylor, hopes they live up to the high standards expected.

“It’s such a monumental event. It’s something that very few students will ever get a chance to do. And also I got to do it my senior year, so it’s just kind of the icing on the senior cake,” said Taylor.

Central High Band Director, Brice Evans, says it took a lot to be invited.

“After the election, if groups want to participate in the parade, fill up an application online. And we submitted honors and awards that our group has received. We submitted a history of the band. We had a letter of recommendation from Governor Beebe and Senator Pryor. We submitted a picture of the band and a video recording and audio recording of the band,” said Evans.

They were notified that they were chosen on Dec. 17, giving them just over a month to raise over $100,000, which include travel expenses, hotel, food, and entertainment.

The band is leaving by bus on Jan. 17, giving them plenty of travel time in case of bad weather.  It band has raised about $75,000 and is still asking the public to donate the additional $20,000 needed.  To donate visit lrsd.org.