HS band from Ocean County to play at inauguration

January 18, 2013 3:45:49 PM PST
The marching Jaguars from Jackson Township, Ocean County will be among the groups performing in Monday's Presidential Inaugural Parade.

Without questions, the members of the Jackson Memorial High School Jaguars marching band are psyched.

The high school students have been practicing four days a week to prepare for the event.

"Oh my God I am so excited! I'm going to be so close to the president that's why it's just amazing," said Victoria McKeown.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, we are going to play for one of the most important people in the world," said Marissa Parinello.

The Jaguars were selected from over 2800 schools that applied to march.

"We have 200 kids going down there and they've worked so hard and we can't wait to show them off," said Bud McCormick, Band Director.

"A lot of practice - we've been playing the songs for the Inaugural Parade over and over," said Danielle Finnegan.

The students have experience playing at high-profile events. They marched in the Inaugural Parade for President Bush back in 2005 and traveled to California earlier this month to perform at the Tournament of Roses Parade.

"It's really exhilarating to know that there's going to be so many people watching us and it's just going to be a fun time," said Jessica Ormsby.

The Jaguars are a hearty lot. One of the trombone players had his appendix out and days later marched seven miles in the Pasadena Parade.

"Mostly adrenaline so it didn't hurt too bad," said David Montgomery.

Did he pay for it later?

"Oh yeah I slept like the next four days," said Montgomery.

When they're not practicing patriotic songs for the inaugural the Jaguars like to let loose.

They've even got some students who play French horns upside down!

As they packed and checked their uniforms for the trip, they spilled a little secret about why band members wear their parade hats so low.

"Then we won't be as distracted as much by the audience," said Nick Mendez.

However with the first family and all the dignitaries who'll be watching you can understand why band members would want to look around.

The Jaguars leave for Washington at 2:30 Monday morning - ready to play their hearts out for the president.