Sequim HS band wins big at Disneyland

The Sequim High School band sent 112 students to Anaheim, Calif., during spring break, March 25-29, to compete in the Anaheim Heritage Festival music competition at Fullerton College.

About 1,500-2,000 band, choir and orchestra students attended, representing about 20 schools.

The Sequim band won First Place, Gold, in Jazz Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble; First Place, Silver, in Wind Ensemble; Second Place, Silver, Concert Band; and Silver for Marching Band.

Silver means they met national standards and gold means they surpassed national standards.

Students Matt Grey received a Maestro Award for his solo, and Gabe Smith received a "Celebrate You and Your Accomplishments" Award from Disney. They also received the Spirit Award for best representing their school, group and community.

On the flight home, the band even made an impression on Alaska Airlines' staff.

Vickie Sullivan, field support supervisor, contacted the school district office to let the administration know how much of an impression the students made on her.

"I see 75,000 people a year and these students were supportive of each other's diversity and embraced each others' differences," Sullivan said.

She was amazed by their politeness, upbeat attitudes and that they looked her and staff in the eye.

"Whatever this school does, it is represented through the band," Sullivan said.

"When they go out in the world, I just want them and teachers to know it doesn't go unnoticed with their attitudes."

The band was honored to be first to lead the revamped Disneyland Parade. Band director Vern Foskett applied for the opportunity several months ago and, on March 27, they were the only band featured for the special occasion.

"Overall, the trip was amazing," Foskett said.

Students were responsible for their trip costs, and fundraising opportunities were made available to them through the Sequim High School Band Boosters Club.

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