NEW PARIS — National Trail High School Steel Band might be going to compete at a steel band competition in Virginia Beach next summer. The students have been practicing this summer, but the NT Board of Education still has to approve the trip.
The students would be gone from May 9-13, 2018 and the trip will cost each student $705. The competition itself is only held on Friday, May 11 through Saturday, May 12, but they will also be visiting a battleship at Nauticus, for an educational experience.
Steel Band Director Judy Jordan attended the board of education meeting on Thursday, June 27, to talk to the board about the logistics of the trip. The board did not vote on whether to allow the trip, as it was not on the agenda, but Jordan attended the meeting to run the possibility past them so they could discuss before they vote in July. The board will vote whether to approve the trip during the meeting on Tuesday, July 25.
“This is something that my seniors to be brought up to me. They begged to practice during the summer for this. We practiced every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m.,” Jordan said. “Basically what it is, is an international competition. It’s a competition for the steel bands to get together, there’s not really another competition around. This is about the only one there is, unless we go to Trinidad and Tobago, but I thought that was out of the question.
“So the kids, we’ve talked about it for several years and the kids wanted to go for it. We have a great group of eighth graders coming in to be Freshmen, we have 19 students in the advanced band — this is only for the advanced band. It’s basically a trip.
“We would leave sometime on Wednesday, we would go down there. There are workshops that are international and professionals from the field gives workshops. I would like to talk them to the Nauticus, it is all about the history of the navy. We would go on a battleship called the Wisconsin. They would get some of that history too.”
She explained that as of now the price is $705 per student, but it may go down. Currently they are considering two different hotel companies who are competing for the cheapest price. Kids will have the opportunity for fundraisers. They are choosing to utilize a smaller charter bus, a 25-seater, which will allow for at least five parents to attend the competition as well. Other parents are welcome to follow behind.
The $705 covers everything, but food, which the students would have to pay for themselves. However, they do get one free lunch and breakfast is provided by the hotel.
Board member Gary Moore asked if anyone else from the school was going to attend to help chaperone, and Superintendent Jeff Parker said that was something they could discuss, but he believed 19 students was manageable for Jordan.
There was a question of whether every student could afford the trip, but Jordan argued that they have the opportunity to fund-raise the money. Parker added, “They have every opportunity this far in advance.”
The trip will be discussed further, and voted on, during the July Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. in National Trail’s District Office.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH