The Fitch High School Band has been invited to perform at the 2013 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., and is the only marching band in Connecticut to receive an invitation, Band Director Andrew Lefebvre told the Board of Education Tuesday.
Lefebvre said the committee for the national parade contacted U.S. Bands, a national group in which Fitch competes. Then the committee reviewed the scores of various bands and contacted Fitch.
He said the trip would be an opportunity for students, the school and the town.
“This type of thing provides national recognition, not only for the town but for the public schools,” Lefebvre said.
The school board said it supports sending the students on the trip. At some point, Lefebvre is expected to return and ask for financial help for some students, but he did not have numbers on the cost Tuesday. He’s expected to inform parents today that the band has been selected.
A rough cost estimate for a three-day, two night stay is $482 to $550 per student, he said. He said the trip costs are beyond what the booster club can raise, but he believes most parents will be able to afford the trip. However, he said some will need help.
Board Member Chaz Zezulka asked if the group had considered seeking corporate sponsors to help support the band.
Lefebvre said he’d like to have 50 to 60 students attend the trip, and ideally, 80.
The plan is to make the trip available to seniors who marched in competition this fall, 9th to 12th graders who will be marching competitively and possibly 8th graders who will be marching with the band next year.
Students attending the trip would be committed to start rehearsals in April.
He said the trip would give students the chance to march in a nationally-televised parade, hear the national symphony concert and visit museums and monuments.
“This is just going to push the limits of the ensemble,” he said.