Jan 18, 2013 at 8:46 am
A high profile start to the New Year for the Fergus Falls High School marching band. For the second time in 4 years, the Fergus Otters will find an audience with president Barack Obama during the 2013 Inaugural parade.
The 127 member group was hand selected from over 2,800 high school bands to perform in Monday's parade in Washington DC.
Marching band director Scott Kummrow led the otters to the nation's Capitol in 2009 after they were picked to march in President Obama's first inaugural parade. He says, in order to be considered, they had to submit audio, video footage and a description of the group in November, before waiting with anticipation for the decision right before the Christmas holiday.
The news was good - and Kummrow attributes much of the band's repeat success to what he calls a commitment to "traditional marching."
"A lot of bands focus on what you would call field marching - which you see a lot during halftime shows - but we have stuck with a more traditional, patriotic routine. We practice military precision, and the band also sings during the act."
Kummrow says the students have worked hard, busily rehearsing their routine over the Christmas break and even using the local mall before hours to practice their march routine in chilly weather.
He says their routine will hopefully deliver the band's strongest performance toward the end of the parade, when they'll be within feet of the president of the United States.
"There will be several thousand people in the parade, so it just isn't feasible to assume we'd get to meet the President. However, he will be stationed near the end of the parade route, and I was telling my students, if he wasn't blocked by bullet-proof glass, we'll be close enough to reach out and touch him."
Kummrow says transportation and hotel accommodations were handled by Leisure Time Tours in St. Cloud, a huge undertaking with the number of students making the trip.
Kummrow says the opportunity to travel doesn't come often for many of his students, so they're planning several days of meeting with Minnesota politicians and some historic sight-seeing before Monday's parade.
Temp: 28°F (-2°C)
Wind: 9 N