The Crestwood Marching Band had the honor last month of marching in the 2014 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D. C. Last week, they had the honor of a visit from Congressman Lou Barletta, who thanked them for their participation and congratulated them on a job well done.
Congressman Barletta spoke briefly with the students and presented the Comets with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for representing Pennsylvania under the guidance of Band Director and Instrumental Instruction teacher, Joe Ziegler. The students, understandably, were excited to have the Congressman visit.
To drum major and graduating senior, Andrew Gamble, the experience was an honor. “It was nice to be recognized by Congressman Barletta,” says Gamble. “It meant a lot for the entire band.”
Crestwood Band Director, Joe Ziegler echoed the sentiment of the students, explaining that having a Congressman visit the school is “very unique”.
“It’s not often that a student can say they were able to meet and talk with their Congressman. The students really enjoyed his visit. They appreciated the time he took with them to talk about their experience not only in the parade, but also their time visiting Washington,” relates Ziegler.
The Memorial Day Parade appearance, and subsequent Congressional visit, was the capstone to a season that began nearly a year ago last June with the first of several “band camps”. Since that time, the band has played at every home football game, various school events and community parades, and competed in several competitions throughout the year. The 2014 –2015 Marching Band has 54 total members between the ages of 12 and 18 (grades 7-12).
Congressman Lou Barletta was responsible for selecting bands from Pennsylvania for the parade and sent out application requests to bands in the 11th district.
According to Tim Murtaugh, Communications Director for Congressman Barletta, the Congressman nominated Crestwood and a few select others from the district to the American Veterans Center who made the ultimate decision to include the Comets. Ziegler was contacted by a member of the congressman’s staff and he had to send an audition video of the students’ performance. By February, Crestwood had been selected and preparations were underway to bring the band to Washington D. C. to march in the National Memorial Day Parade for the first time in school history.
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