The Columbus North High School marching band’s trip to Washington, D.C., to perform in the presidential inauguration parade has not only been assured, but it will be documented for posterity.
The inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a Columbus native and 1977 Columbus North graduate, will take place during a Jan. 20 ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
Tony Moravec, a Columbus businessman and a Pence friend and campaign donor, has agreed to pay a local company to record everything the Sound of North experiences from its departure Jan. 18 through its return Jan. 22.
Moravec said the moment was too important not to document.
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“The community is willing to step up,” he said.
Moravec hired Burnett Collective LLC to document the trip. The company is owned by Josh Burnett, host of the web show “Celebrate Columbus.” Documentation of the trip will include video and still photos, Burnett said.
The agreement will allow the city to use the documentary for promotional purposes. Burnett said he wants the content he creates to be usable by the community in multiple ways.
Karen Niverson, executive director of the Columbus Area Visitors Center, said a showing of the documentary at YES Cinema is a possibility, as is having it on the Visitors Center website.
“This event is the perfect opportunity for us to advance our community brand as a city that embraces excellence that inspires greatness,” she said.
State Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus, who has been spearheading fundraising efforts for the trip, said the $125,000 goal hasn’t quite been reached. Smith said he has about $105,000 in pledges, but said he is optimistic.
“I feel comfortable that I have people in the background that will make this happen,” Smith said.
The Sound of North on Tuesday received the official invitation to participate in the parade, said Bill Stultz, Columbus North’s director of bands.
After their Jan 9 return from winter break, the band will have four two-hour rehearsals — including one open to the public — to practice the music it will perform along a 15-block route down Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital. The performance, “A Patriotic Salute,” will include “America the Beautiful” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and a cadence by the drumline, said Keith Burton, North’s marching band director.
The public performance is planned for the end of the band’s Jan. 17 practice, at 7:30 p.m. at the school’s football stadium — or in the school’s cafeteria if the weather is poor, Stultz said.
Band members were told before winter break to come back ready to practice.
“We told them to keep themselves in shape playing-wise,” Stultz said.
While Burton focuses on the band’s practices and performance, Stultz is taking the lead on the administrative details of the trip, such as providing required information to the Secret Service and finalizing logistics of the trip. He also plans to ask band members and parents to come up with a hashtag to help focus social media coverage of the trip.
The band will leave at 10 p.m. Jan. 18 and make the approximately 10-hour trip by bus. Band members and chaperone will sightsee Jan. 19 and check into their hotel rooms in Baltimore, about an hour from the parade site.
The band will rise early on Jan. 20 and travel to the parade site. After the performance, they will do more sightseeing before staying the night again. Band members will get a little more time to sightsee Jan. 21 before departing for Columbus at 4 p.m. that afternoon and arriving home about 2 a.m. Jan. 22, Stultz said.
An account has been set up at Salin Bank under “Columbus North Band Boosters inaugural parade fund.”
Salin Bank locations include:
- 3501 Central Ave., Columbus
- 655 Third St., Columbus
- 3950 25th St., Columbus
- 100 W. Main Cross St., Edinburgh
Anyone with questions is invited to email: