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Park City High School Marching Band Performs For Community

Marching Band Member Valeney Valles

The Park City High School Marching Band gave a send-off concert Wednesday evening. They leave for Normandy  June 4 and will perform there as part of the ceremonies in remembrance of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Rain clouds parted just in time for the Park City High School Marching Band send-off performance at Dozier Field. The bleachers were nearly full of parents, teachers, students and other community members, including some who don’t have kids in the school system any longer.

The National Anthem opened the program. Long time Football Game announcer, Scott Chester emceed the show. In between the music, he invited students to share their thoughts about being part of the marching band.

“My name is Sarah Morgan. I’ve been a part of the band for six years now. I was honored to go to Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary. And, now, I get to go to Normandy, France, for D-Day. Marching band and band have been a big part of my life. And, it’s created community and a family for me, and I will forever be grateful for that.”

Owen Nagel told the audience he has played music since he was four years old and he remembers the exact moment he decided to join the Park City High School Marching Band.

“I can trace the moment down to a kid rehearsing in the percussion room playing just a really cool, gorgeous marimba solo. It’s been a huge blessing in my life ever since. To the point where now I get to go …across the pond…to another country and play and represent this state and America and it’s, super, just insane, like awesome cool, humbling, love it.”

Junior, Liam Hanrahan is the Drum Major and oversees the marching band, leading them in formation and then conducting their musical performance. For three years, he played saxophone with the band but in the leadership role, he has a different challenge. He thinks band members who went to Pearl Harbor have a better idea of what to expect in France.

“Really, I think everyone’s, just thinking about how it’s going to be so humbling. We’re going to be playing for, not ourselves. Because normally, when you have a concert, you’re playing for the band, yourself. But for this one, we’re going to be playing for all the people, and all the French, and all the people who died.”

Hanrahan said he was moved by the Pearl Harbor experience, seeing the Veteran’s, in their 90’s, and performing with over a thousand musicians commemorating all the lives that were lost in 1941.

“There were a few old, 90-year-old men and the previous drum majors got to go up and put leighs or wreathes around their heads. And that’s, I think, when it hit me.”

As reported, the Park City High School Marching Band was invited to attend the D-Day commemoration in Normandy, France. They’ll perform in Normandy, June 5-8 for the families of fallen soldiers as well as dignitaries from all over the world. They’ll have individual performances and will be part of the 1300-member band playing John Williams, Hymn to The Fallen under a special, exclusive arrangement with the composer.

Park City High band student Valeny Valles received a scholarship for her logo design in recognition of the D-Day event.

The entire send-off performance, and an image of the logo is on KPCW’s Facebook page. 


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