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The West Press

The West Press

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Destination, Hawaii! East/West Marching Band Trip

In a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Lakota East and West Marching Bands took a trip to Hawaii for an extended Thanksgiving Break.
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If you had to go on vacation to any place in the world, where would it be? Some people might say London or Tokyo; Others might say Paris or Australia. One of these places is a must-see bucket list type of place: Hawaii. Announced early 2022, The Lakota East and West Marching Bands decided to take a joint trip out to the highly sought-after island, spending seven full days at places like Secret Island, the USS Missouri, Dole Plantation, and even were able to march in the Waikiki Holiday Parade. With 270 members (comprised of students, staff, and chaperones) attending, traveling over 4000 miles away from their home in Ohio would be an endeavor that few groups of Lakota’s size would have attempted to complete. 

Long before taking off on a plane, students who planned on going on the trip would gather around Lakota West’s Main Campus, and piece together the music they planned on playing, including pieces like “You’re a Grand Ol’ Flag”, “Salute to America’s Finest”, and a few other more well-known pieces, such as “Jingle Bell Rock” and Santa’s Parade”. After saying goodbye to loved ones, the students of East and West proceeded to get a few hours of sleep and meet back up at both schools to shuttle over to CVG Airport.

Landing in Honolulu, the 5 flight groups joined back up later that evening and reviewed the week’s rules. Not only would they have full reign to the beachside and shops at any time they wanted, but they also had a large range of options for meals throughout the trip. The Waikiki Resort, where the group stayed had everything you could need, from Hawaiian Christmas ornaments to cats wearing a lei on a shirt.

Although the trip contained loads of fun activities for the students to complete, they also had two performances; One of which was the Waikiki Holiday Parade. Marching alongside Lakota, were two bands from Georgia and one other band from Ohio, all of whom experienced many of the same activities, including the 1.5 mile parade. Thousands of locals and tourists watched as the hundreds of band members played through the streets, giving tribute to the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941. 

Students were also given the rare opportunity to play in front of the USS Missouri, where both traveling families and locals could hear the Lakota Marching Band Perform songs in remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives for the betterment of America in World War II. Once they performed at the USS Missouri, they were able to see the wreckage of the USS Arizona. The drum majors of both East and West traveled out to the wreckage and placed a wreath from Lakota in front of a wall with all the names of people who perished while on the ship.

The trip concluded with a day at Secret Island, the filming location of movies and series such as Lost, Jurassic Park, Hawaii Five-0, and many more. The beach, which was reserved for the band, had plenty to do and held a beautiful view over the shoreline of Oahu.

Students returned from their trip on Monday and Tuesday with countless memories to cherish for years to come. Ben Brown, the principal of Lakota West, praised the directors and band program for pulling off such an amazing opportunity for students.

“It really was years of planning…I’ve heard lots of good reviews from students, and it sounds like everyone had a really good time…(Students) were given so many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.”

Although future trips for the East and West Marching Band programs have not been announced, Lakota’s West’s top band “Symphonic Winds” is currently planning to perform at Carnegie Hall in 2025.

You can watch the Lakota Marching Band in the Waikiki Holiday Parade HERE.

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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