Camden band headed to D.C.

CAMDEN - November 12, 2008 The Camden High School Band has been practicing extra hours these days. The Marching Panthers have been invited to the three day inaugural festival in Washington in January. The marching band, jazz band, and percussion section will compete with bands from around the country. The winners will march in the inaugural parade.

"I feel wonderful like I really want to be there, I think it would be a great opportunity for us to play for an inauguration of a black president," Brittany Nobles said.

"It made me want to become more dedicated to the band and it disciplined me even more; it's pretty exciting for me because I've never been somewhere like this before," Sharee Bookman said.

In 1990 the Marching Panthers played in London's New Years parade and they have participated in New Jersey's gubernatorial inaugural parade, but a trip to Washington and a chance to play for the new president is something else for the 75 member band.

"Going to the inauguration is amazing because it gives me and the band a chance to make history," Tinisha Baker said.

"I'm really happy and I really want to go. I've always been dedicated to the band and now I'm going to be even more dedicated," Eduardo Bruno said.

Band director Edwin de Vaughn says everyone involved with the band has been working hard to make sure these kids are as sharp as they can be, not just their music but their appearance. New uniforms are on order.

"We're very excited, just to take part in a mega-event," de Vaughn said.

The trip to Washington is not inexpensive, about $50,000 for the 3 day event and right now alumni, the community, and band parents are working to raise the money.

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