FRUITLAND — The Fruitland High School marching band is heading to Mariner High School in Everett, Washington today, where they will stay through Saturday to participate in the Music in Motion competition. The trip also includes a stop in British Columbia, Canada.
Band director Joel Williams says he organized this trip not only to encourage healthy competition but to show them what other cultures are like.
“On Sunday we’re gonna take a day trip up to Victoria … so the [students] can see some of the cool things up there like Butchart Gardens and Victoria itself, eat some Canadian food and have kind of a ‘big picture’ experience.”
Williams says takes these trips with his band every year.
“Marching Band is fun; it’s fun to be a little competitive, sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t. You get to see some good groups and we want them to see that.”
Williams says his students have been hard at work on their own time, raising the $700 apiece and gathering identifying documents needed to make the trip.
“Our community is amazingly supportive; there isn’t any of this money … coming out of the school district. We raise every penny of this through fundraising and various events that we do.”
This trip north of the border holds a special place in the hearts of these senior section leaders.
Nate Connell is looking forward to experiencing Canada itself.
“I’m excited to finally get out of the country and experience another culture. Also, I’ve always wanted to know if Canadian money actually smells like maple syrup,” he says.
Ian Turpin can’t pick just one thing to be excited about.
“I am looking forward to just about everything we’re going to be doing on the trip, from going to a different country to eating amazing food and experiencing a number of new things,” he said. “Doing all of this with my closest friends makes the whole trip a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember for the rest of my life!”
Skarlett Williams says this promises to be a highlight of her senior year.
“I can’t wait to get to get to make irreplaceable memories with my friends in the band one last time. Not to mention getting to say I’ve been out of the country,” she said.
The band has had varying degrees of success in taking home big prizes over the years, winning, taking last place and everything in between.
“Typically we’ve held our own in the middle of the pack,” according to Williams. “It’s our intent to represent our school, community, and state well at these events.”