Collier band makes final push for inaugural performance

Posted at 10:47 PM, Jan 04, 2017

Just as students return from winter break, the Palmetto Ridge Marching Band is gearing up for a trip of a lifetime.

"It's one of those things you tell your kids 'I was in this'." Drum major Robert Colvin is leading the band on a historic trip to Washington, where they will play in the inaugural parade shortly after President-Elect Trump is inaugurated January 20th.

"It's not really about politics, this parade, it's the position, we're marching for the President of the United States, not specifically Donald Trump, even if it had been Hillary, not specifically for Hillary," said Colvin.

The band will select a few patriotic numbers to play during the inauguration - but getting to DC is proving to be an uphill march.

Students are trying to chip away at a $135,000 price tag for the trip, and they're doing so by holding several fund raisers.

Band director Annabelle Sarmiento is hoping most of the 235 students in the band can make it. She remembers leading her former school to President Obama's inauguration in 2009.  "It was an unforgettable experience. And from that moment I knew if I ever had the opportunity to work with a band on my own, that I would want to have this opportunity with those students."

It's an opportunity junior Emily Raser isn't taking lightly, especially since Palmetto Ridge is the only band in Collier County making the trip.

"I have no doubt in my mind that this band is the best, making this trip and being involved in this inauguration, it's amazing."

A GoFundMe account has raised about $40,000 so far and will be active until this Sunday.