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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Sykesville’s Century High marching band will represent Maryland Wednesday in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade

Century High School marching band students hauled large drums, saxophones and other musical instruments onto an airplane over the weekend, bound for Hawaii. The students will parade down the tropical streets of Waikiki in Honolulu Wednesday in tribute to veterans.

The trip will be an incredible experience for students, marching band director Sara Norris Workman said. Workman received a letter from the Department of Defense just over a year ago letting her know Century was selected to represent Maryland in the 2022 Pearl Harbor Day Memorial Parade in Oahu. She said the band was selected based on an exemplary performance at a regional competition at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis in 2021.

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“It was really awesome for my staff to get recognized that way and for my students to get recognized that way,” Workman said. “It was all of the hard work that they put in every season to get this big honor.”

Sara Norris Workman, marching band director, leads practice on Nov. 28 at Century High School as members prepare for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

Schools from across the country are selected to perform in Waikiki this week to honor veterans and remember the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

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One Maryland school is always selected in honor of the The USS Maryland and her role in the events of that day. Although the lives of four crew members were lost in the attack, The USS Maryland is believed to have shot down seven enemy planes.

Westminster High School’s marching band was selected to perform in the parade in 2013.

Workman said 41 Century marching band students embarked on the six-day trip with 12 chaperones and 28 community members.

Since the school was notified that the marching band was selected to perform, music boosters have been coming up with creative fundraising ideas to pay for the trip. The cost, including airfare and hotels, was about $180,000, or about $2,400 per person, Workman said. Funds raised totaled about $22,000.

Workman said bringing musical instruments on a flight can be expensive. Fortunately, the largest drum weighs 49.2 pounds, just under the 50-pound cutoff.

“Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to make it free,” Workman said. “If we had two years to fundraise we probably would have made it.”

While in Hawaii, students will have an opportunity to attend a luau, visit the Polynesian Cultural Center and have some beach time. Workman said she was most looking forward to a tour of the Pearl Harbor Memorial, which is a mandatory part of the trip for performers. The travelers will return home Friday.

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So far, fundraising efforts have included car washes, a letter-writing campaign to local businesses, and a charcuterie event. Instrumental music booster president Beth Feinstein said the trip was the onus for a fundraising overhaul, and the strain on the band budget will require more creative fundraising initiatives in the spring.

Century High School's marching band prepares Monday, Nov. 28, 2022 for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

“We’re actually going to continue to do brainstorming breakfasts,” Feinstein said, “where we can meet up and throw ideas out ... and see what works.”

Although funds are low, Feinstein said the trip is well worth the boosters’ investment. The booster president’s daughter, Maci Feinstein, is a junior at Century and a member of the color guard.

“To have that to have the importance of representing the state of Maryland,” Beth Feinstein said, “representing Carroll County Public Schools and representing Century High School, and to be immersed in all of this — I can’t even imagine it.”

Workman has been band director since fall of 2020, but she has worked at the high school for almost a decade. She said being Century’s band director is a dream job for her.

Mellophone player Jackson Chung, 16, a junior at Century, said he thinks the band was chosen for the parade because of the members’ ability to work together. Now the brass section leader, Chung joined the marching band as a freshman.

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Century senior Beck Urie, 18, said the band learned patriotic songs to perform in the parade. Urie is the band’s drum major, and the trip will mark the first time he will get on an airplane.

“We’re all a little nervous but mostly excited,” Urie said, adding that the Century marching band is like a family.

Senior Adib Kahn, 17, a piccolo player and the woodwind section leader, said he wants to make his community proud. The band has been learning how to parade, which is a distinct skill from marching, he said. Sykesville’s July Fourth parade was good practice.

“It was it was definitely a new experience for a lot of us,” Kahn said. “ It was it was a good experience because it definitely showed us what we would be able to do in Hawaii and how we would need to prepare for that.”

Junior Jackson Chung, 16, plays mellophone at Century High School on  Nov. 28 as members of the marching band prepare for the Pearl Harbor memorial parade in Hawaii. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

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