More MIHS band members are on the way to London

Stormy weather on the East Coast stranded 92 members of the Mercer Island High School Marching Band early Tuesday. The band is headed to London to march and perform in the New Year's Day Parade, by invitation.

In an e-mail update from Parker Bixby, the band's director, he said as of 5 a.m. Thursday he had 126 kids on the ground with the others to follow Thursday morning and afternoon. Bixby and the other adults on the trip worked tirelessly to rebook activities they had planned to do as a group, and they were victorious.

Bixby said the airline workers were very complimentary as to how mature and fun the band members have been.

One hundred members, in two groups, made it out as scheduled; one group was on a direct flight, the other group was routed through Toronto. Early Wednesday morning 20 more made it out with 37 more to follow in late morning. The remaining 29 with their adult counterpart, Dave Bentley, will leave Thursday if not sooner. These three groups are being routed through Chicago.

"All of the kids that were stranded are looking for the silver lining," said parent Kathryn Lerner whose daughter, Sophie made it out in the middle of the night Wednesday.

Lerner said her daughter's group regarded their departure as a mini-victory.

"Right now the issue is to keep (the rest of them) together because David is the only chaperone left."

The students who left on time for England were flying on Air Canada, and British Airways.

However, band musicians and their chaperones set to fly through New York City on American Airlines were delayed by the paralyzing storm. Assuming the last group of 29 make it out Thursday, the show will go on as planned.

According to band director Parker Bixby, at least two other bands from the United States did not make it to London.

The students will be blogging via the MISD Web site during the entire trip.

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