The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 4, 2013

McDonald County band to perform in Washington, D.C.

ANDERSON, Mo. — Students in the McDonald County High School band are counting down the days until they leave for Washington, D.C., where they are scheduled to take part in some of President Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremonies later this month.

As a representative of Missouri, the 55-student band is in the running to perform in the inaugural parade, which is set for Jan. 21 along Pennsylvania Avenue. But that’s not guaranteed and, as of Friday, was still undecided by parade directors, said Laurie Kinder-Lang, band director.

“We may not get selected; they all know that,” she said. “Just to get to represent Missouri is a big deal.”

Bands not selected for the parade will still have the opportunity to perform and compete with other high school bands from across the country in Washington, D.C., Kinder-Lang said.

And aside from its performances, the band will also visit several major tourist attractions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Aquarium, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Hard Rock Cafe, she said.

The trip’s $800 cost per student has meant nearly a year of selling candy bars and coupon books, and stocking the concession stands at University of Arkansas football games in Fayetteville, said Carley Hendrix, a trumpet player and drum major.

“We’ve been fundraising a lot, working really hard to get community support as well as state support,” said Hendrix, a junior.

Hendrix said she looks forward to the 24-hour bus ride with her friends and “band family.” She also is eager to visit the U.S. Capitol for the first time.

“I’m really excited to see what this trip has in store for us,” she said. “It’s a life-changing experience. Not many people get to go to the inaugural ceremonies.”

Bryan Mendoza, a sophomore tuba player, said he will be excited to be in Washington, D.C., regardless of whether the band gets to march in the parade. Yet there is a little bit of pressure as well, he said.

“It’s a big responsibility because this little band from McDonald County is representing the entire state,” he said. “We have to look good for the other states, but we have to be ourselves at the same time.”

Mendoza said he and his classmates would not be preparing for their trip without the support of their school, families, friends and neighbors.

“This has been a long journey, and it’s taken a lot of work,” he said. “It’s been worth it.”

Jeff Whitehill, a sophomore trumpet player, said he was “pretty pumped” when he learned the band would make the trip to Washington, D.C.

“I think it’s a very good honor to be representing the state, ourselves and our own community,” he said.

In addition to seeing the sights of the Capitol for the first time, Whitehill said he looks forward to playing in large performance or concert halls — a change from the small, concrete-walled, acoustically challenged band room of McDonald County High School.

“A lot of us have never experienced that,” he said.

The trip to Washington began last year, when the band performed in New Orleans during the halftime show at the Sugar Bowl and placed third in that competition, Kinder-Lang said. That showing encouraged her to audition the band to be part of the inaugural ceremonies, and she solicited letters of recommendation from across the state, including a letter of support from Gov. Jay Nixon, she said.

The band is scheduled to leave McDonald County High School at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, and return on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Also in Washington

Sanjay Jenkins, a junior at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School in Joplin, will attend the High School Presidential Inaugural Conference in Washington, D.C., scheduled for Jan. 19-23. Participants will study and discuss campaign strategy and presidential politics with historians and political experts.


Text Only
Local News
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Event for veterans on tap at Crowder

    For area veterans who have returned home from more than a decade at war, the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks hopes to send a simple message at an event this weekend: Welcome home.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Damien D Doxley 051314.jpg Prison term meted out in carjacking case

    A Newton County judge assessed a defendant in a Joplin carjacking case seven years in prison Friday on a conviction on a charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 080114 Older worker1_72.jpg Co-workers, friends honor nurse with 50-year career

    Wilma Massey has worked a half century in health care and, even at the age of 74, she’s the first to arrive at work each morning.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at

    July 31, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

Must Read


Do you plan on voting in the Aug. 5 elections being held in Missouri and Kansas?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter