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Fine tuning details for New Year's Day



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The brass section of Clarkston High School Marching Band blasts out the sound of victory at the Sept. 17 Wolves football game against Troy. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
September 29, 2010 - Y WENDI REARDON

Clarkston News Staff Writer

The corner of Washington and Main Street was filled with the sweet sounds of Clarkston High School Marching Band, Sunday afternoon.

From The Clarkston News parking lot, they played for patrons walking by during the annual Taste of Clarkston.

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Besides spreading around music and fun they were spreading the word – they were raising money, $2,800 each, to go to England.

The marching band was visited by Roger Bramble, eputy Lietutenant of London, the queen's representative, in September 2009 and invited to play in the 25th Anniversary New Year's Day Parade in London.

The days have gone by quickly and now they are counting down the days - less than three months to go.

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Junior Stephanie Marani had the count down to 99 days on Sept. 20.

"It happened to be that day," she said.

Now the band is heading into the high 80s and getting travel details finalized.

"They have a general idea," said Michael Lewis, Clarkston High School Band Director. "Now they are waiting for the specifics. I am sure they have been doing some checking online the places we are going to go see so they have an idea when before they get there."

For Marani and senior Zack Snyder, they are looking forward to the experience of traveling to another country and experiencing it with friends.

"I am looking forward to everything," Marani said.

"We are going to go to quite a few different places," said Snyder.

Fifty-five marching band members leave Michigan on Dec. 27 and land in England on Dec. 28. During their stay they will visit Canterbury, the Windsor Castle and take in a musical.

They perform in the parade, seen by half a million people on the street, as they walk from Piccadilly to the Palace of Westminster, the House of Parliament. Over 250 million people will watch the parade on television.

The band has not selected the music they will play for the special occasion.

"It will have a tie in with the people there watching the parade," said Lewis. "Something with a connection between the United States and Great Britain so they all recognize it and we are familiar with it."

The band will begin practice for it in October and add more practices more into November and December.

While the band members dream about visiting England, they are also thinking about the cost.

Friends, family and local businesses have shared the excitement by helping the band by donating money or lending a hand.

"The community support has been great, outstanding," said Lewis. "It has been better then I hope."

The Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music Association has held fundraisers and many have come to him for ideas on how the band can raise more money.

"It has been great The Clarkston News came up with an idea," said Lewis. "Other outside groups coming to us saying we would like to help. It has been a really big help to the kids."

And what is The Clarkston News & Penny Stretcher doing to help with the costs? Working on a full-color section featuring our Clarkston High School Marching Band.

All the proceeds from advertising sales are split with the band, 50-50.

The section will feature a single sponsor for each member of the band making the trip. The cost for sponsorship is $600. The sponsorship will be adjacent to a photo of the student.

"The band needs to send their final payment for this by mid-October," Assistant Publisher Don Rush said. "To make this happen, we will accept half payments now and bill the remaining $300 at the end of October. The first payment will go to the program."

The section will be posted on-line and each sponsor will also be recognized individually with a photo and writeup throughout the year in the CNews.

To make sure your business is represented -- the sections will be mailed to all addresses serviced by the Clarkston and Davisburg post offices. Call the Clarkston News at 248-625-3370 to talk to a sales representative for more details.

"I am really excited," said Snyder. "It is going to be really cool to be in the New Year's Day parade."

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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