Regimental Band to participate in inaugural parade in Washington, DC

Regimental BandThe Norwich University Regimental Band has been invited to attend George W. Bush's Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC, on January 20th. The 70-member band, under the direction of Lt. Col. James Bennett, is the oldest collegiate military band in the nation, dating back to 1819.

The Inaugural Parade dates back to the very first presidential inauguration, when George Washington took oath of office on April 30, 1789 in New York City. As he began his journey from Mount Vernon to New York, local militias joined the procession as it passed through towns along the way. Today the 1.7-mile parade follows a route from Capitol Hill down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The procession consists of over 125 bands and marching units consisting of approximately 11,000 participants representing most of the fifty states, and lasts two hours.

Lt. Col. Bennett, who serves as Director of Music at Norwich, said that the University's band was formed when the school was founded in 1819.

"Over the years, we have performed in many inaugural parades, including, in recent years, those held for John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. Bush," Bennett said.

Despite the past invitations, Bennett said that it is always a thrill to be selected to participate in the event.

"It is a very competitive selection process. We were chosen from over 1,000 applications, and to the best of my knowledge we are the only unit invited from Vermont," Bennett said. The Norwich band will play several standard marches during the procession, culminating with the F.E. Bigelow composition "Our Director" when they pass the White House reviewing stand.

Bennett said that the regimental band has played in several St. Patrick's Day parades in New York City, the Patriots' Day parades in Boston, and has even opened the season for the Red Sox in Fenway Park.

"While all of those events have been exciting, the Inaugural Parade is a very special occasion," Bennett said. "We will be participating in a parade that only happens once every four years. It is a historically significant event, and Norwich University is honored to be able to take part in it."

Band Members:

Angelo Acevedo, Jonas Aguayo, Criag Aylward, Ryan Barrett, Nathaniael Becker, Zachary Bennett, Kevin Beurmann, Jessica Bird, Hillary Britch, David Brown, Keith Brudnicki, Machael Carchedi, Charles Cassels, James Chandler, Yi-Wen Chen, Christopher Coan, Sarah Davis, Michael DeSimone, Kenneth Driscoll, Grepory Duntz, Amanda Fafard, Brian Fazzino, Edwin Fernandez, Matthew Fleming, Jalon Fonseca, Canlin Frost, Jordan Gallagher, Gerald Gorss, Jonathan Grotz, Kendall Hedges, Kenneth Henneberry, Philip Hickman, Stephen Hudson, Matthew Johnson, Meegan Kelley, Andrew Kettner, Richard LaGrega, Megan Lashway, David Lorange, Billy Lyerly, Neil MacAloney, Matthew Mason, Timothy Mazzaferro, Patrick McDonald, Eric Miller, Andrew Murray, Luke Nabozny, Savannah Nguli, Brian Nickerson, Justin Owen, Jacobo Paz, Keith Peskosky, Adam Potter, Eric Punzalan, John Rieder, Ryan Schmidtt, Daniel Swartz, Jonathan Scott, Benjamin Sipe, Gregory Srweart, Heather Waite, John Walsh, Tyler Watkins, Stanley Wisniewski, Daniel Wood, Aaron Zike

Drill Team members also attending parade:

Matthew Angoy, Christopher Comeau, Blake Jackson, Jesse Lundberg, Tahina Montoya, Matthew Pelton, Christopher Quinlan, Jonathan Ryder, Marc Truedson, Adam Truso, John Young

malbury@norwich.edu, December 2004

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