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OHS band performs on Liberty Island

by Andrew Moser

May 11, 2011

The Oxford High School Marching Band poses next to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York City. Photo courtesy of
By Andrew Moser

Leader Staff Writer

Oxford High School band members took their performance on the road to New York last month as they were given the opportunity to play in front of the Statue of Liberty.

The band played a half-hour set filled with patriotic music on Friday, April 15 at the entrance to Liberty Island, serving as a welcome to visitors from other countries.

"We had quite a crowd of international onlookers that stopped and watched the band play," Leanne Terry, president of the Oxford Band Boosters said. "We had people from Australia, France and Germany all come up and comment how nice it was the band was playing."

"The people (from) Australia thought it was fantastic because they don't have marching bands our size," she added.

In addition to 90 band members from the marching band and concert band, OHS band director Jim Gibbons, OHS Jazz Band Director Joe Busuito and Oxford Middle School band teacher Patrick Parrish sponsored and attended the trip along with 13 parent chaperones.

The trip, which was organized by educational student tour company Brightsparks Travel, was open to any high school student who participated in band.

"It is very common for school groups to do this," Terry said. "We have an open invitation."

Terry said the band goes once every two years. Their last trip was to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.

According to Terry, one of the best moments of the trip occurred when the band began playing "The Star-Spangled Banner."

"When we started playing...people stopped and put their hands over their hearts and looked up at the flag," Terry said. "It was a very moving experience to see that."

When the band wasn't performing, they toured Manhattan, stopping at Central Park, Ground Zero and Times Square. They also took in two shows on Broadway, "Wicked" and "The Addams Family", shopped on Fifth Avenue and visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

"It may not hit them now, but in a couple years they are going to look back and say that was really cool to have that opportunity to have played at the entrance to the United States," Terry said.

Terry said she was proud to have gone with the band students.

"These are a great bunch of kids; we had a wonderful time...they represented Oxford wonderfully and I was proud to be with them," she said.