The Harding University High School Marching Band of Gold has been selected to participate in the 56th Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington, D.C. Jan. 20.

The parade, which includes citizen groups, floats, marching bands and regiments from all branches of the military, will honor President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden after they are sworn into office. The band was selected from 1,382 organizations that applied to participate.

Harding Band Director Anthony Jones said he was ecstatic when he found out his young musicians received the honor. Jones, who has been the band director for 15 years, said he had to submit a video of a performance and answer a questionnaire as part of the application process. There are 120 members in the band.

“This is a high point in my career to provide my students with such an historic, meaningful opportunity,” said Jones. “The school and all of its students are excited and proud.”

The school must raise about $30,000 to cover transportation, lodging and meals. Anyone wishing to contribute should call the school at 980-343-6007.

“I want to thank the community for all of their support and encouragement,” said Jones. “Any help the community can provide will be greatly appreciated.”

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