Arts Education
9:10 am
Tue December 21, 2010

Mercer Island High's marching band to play in London

The Mercer Island High School marching band weaves and dances through the streets. They’ve been practicing since 7 a.m.,even though it’s winter break, and a lot of their friends are sleeping in.

At Mercer Island High, one in five kids is in the marching band.

Jared Thomas, a senior and drum major, says the band is sort of a microcosm of the school.

“[There are] a lot of different types of people,” Thomas says. “There are people who would be classified as athletes, nerds – so we kind of have the whole group.”

Next week, the band will perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade. With about 300 kids, it’ll take them four planes to get everyone over there.

“The school genuinely appreciates and enjoys what [the students] do, so they really feel like they get rewarded for the hard work,” band director Parker Bixby says.

Bixby says the band was chosen because they’re a little unique. They jump around, shout and spell out words with letters attached to their sousaphones.

The kids are definitely looking forward to the trip. Some highlights include seeing the musical “Wicked,” Big Ben, Parliament and the London Eye.

This will be the first time the entire band has traveled overseas.