BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick High School Marching Blue Devils hosted Family Fun Day on Saturday, filled with games, crafts and a petting zoo, at Brunswick High School.
The event raised money to send the Blue Devils to London in 2020.
London’s New Year’s Day Parade is one of the largest parades in the world, and groups are often sought from the United States to perform in the parade.
Only 18 bands in the U.S. are chosen each year for this honor. While Brunswick’s Marching Blue Devils have been looked at since 2002, 2020 will finally be their year.
“The band being invited to perform at the London New Year’s Day Parade in 2020 is an incredible honor and one that these students have earned through their dedication and hard work to the program,” said Tina Dame, president of the Brunswick Band Parents Organization. “Along with that is the dedication of the staff, though limited in number when compared with similar schools our size, who are large in their passion for both music and the students.”
Brunswick is looking to take more than 130 teenagers to London, including some soon-to-be college freshmen who won’t miss the chance to go even though they will graduate high school.
The trip is open to all students who have participated in Brunswick’s band program this school year.
Student Joshua Spurgeon said he knows how big the honor is for students and the community.
“(Our goal) was to serve the community and to raise awareness about our band,” he said Saturday. “Not many people know what our band does and why it’s important. Many people in the band, including myself, believe that the band is an important part of the school and the community. We, under the direction of our amazing band director, (Jay) Wardeska, are becoming better students, leaders, and most importantly, people.”
Joshua’s mom, Cindy Spurgeon, added, “As a parent, I’ve seen my child and other children grow into dedicated and honorable men and women under Mr. Wardeska. That’s why this program is so valuable to the community and Brunswick City Schools.”
School board members previously approved the international field trip set for Dec. 27 through Jan. 3. The price of the trip is about $3,000 per student and will include transportation, meals, accommodations and sightseeing and is being covered through fundraising. Parents are responsible for the balance.
Members of the 2019-20 marching band and marching band alumni will be involved in the parade. Adult supervision will include staff members, parents and administration personnel.
Wardeska said the band got the invitation through a recommendation from a member of a National Committee of Music Educators, but he was unsure of who recommended them.
“I’m pretty proud of it,” Wardeska previously said. “I think that it’s exciting to be able to take the kids on an experience that’s worldwide and use music to teach them.”
The next fundraising event will be a community day set for Sept. 7. This event is in the planning phase, so Brunswick residents are asked to keep an eye out for upcoming details.
For more information on the trip or to donate, visit www.brunswickhsbands.org.