Liberty North band joins inaugural parade

Hello, Pennsylvania Avenue.

There’s only one marching band in Missouri scheduled to perform at the inaugural parade in Washington today.

That’s the Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band from Liberty North High School.

The band will join 47 others from across the country playing in the inaugural parade before President Barack Obama as well as an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 spectators in and around the National Mall.

To be selected, the band had to survive a long culling process.

The Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, which is coordinating the inaugural parade, also was in charge of selecting the units, such as bands and drill teams, that wanted to be included.

Applicants submitted video and audio files to a task force website. Representatives reviewed about 3,000 applications before presenting about 300 of them to a separate committee for final selection.

The video submitted by Liberty North High School band director Shane Fuller showed the band playing the “Liberty Bell March” by John Philip Sousa.

“I think part of the reason we were selected is that we had the patriotic style that they were looking for,” Fuller said.

“Plus, it’s the ‘Liberty Bell March’ by a band from Liberty.”

Still, Fuller also can credit plenty of planning on his part.

Fuller decided last summer to submit an application and began schooling students in the Sousa march during the summer band camp, he said.

The band played the march several times during its fall season.

Then in late October, Fuller engaged a professional video service to record the band playing the march in full uniform outside Liberty North High. That’s the file he submitted.

He received the official invitation last month.

Band members traveled by charter bus to the Washington area with plans to spend one night in a Maryland motel. Beyond the inaugural parade, their agenda will include some sightseeing on the National Mall and perhaps a wreath-laying ceremony in Arlington National Cemetery.

Also scheduled: a visit to Sousa’s grave in Congressional Cemetery in southeast Washington.

“I thought that would be fitting,” Fuller said.