MIHS passed over for Obama inaugural

The Mercer Island High School Marching Band found out on Friday that it was not selected to march in the Jan. 20, 2009, Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. Band director Parker Bixby received a phone call from a Inaugural Parade committee member with the news. Bixby told parents and supporters in an e-mail that the committee representative told him that the MIHS application, which included a video of the band performing, was one of the best that they had received.

Evergreen High School of Vancouver, Wash., was selected from 1,400 applications for the honor and was the only band selected from Washington state. Just two dozen bands were chosen. The band will play “Washington My Home.”

Bixby, who called Evergreen band director Steve Kuske to congratulate him, said that the state will be well represented by Evergreen.

The Vancouver Columbian reported that since 2000, the Evergreen Plainsmen have won the Pacific Northwest Marching Band circuit title four times and finished second another three times.

The newspaper reported that U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, helped to guide its application and gather written endorsements.

The musicians began planning a five-day Washington, D.C., trip at least a year ago. It set an alternate schedule of sightseeing and performances, in case they were not selected. The band booked air flights and lodging near Baltimore months ago to beat inauguration-related prices and began fundraising. A local Vietnam veterans group aided the cause with a large donation.

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