Hardin Marching Band will travel to Washington, D.C. to represent Montana

Thursday, September 12, 2019
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The Hardin High School spent time warming up before the Billings Mustangs game September 4. The marching band has been invited to represent the state of Montana during the 2020 Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.


The Hardin Marching Band will be holding fundraisers throughout the school year to raise money for their trip to represent Montana at the 2020 Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

Hardin School District Music Department Director Dohn Ratliff talks about this amazing opportunity and what it would present to the band students.

“I would first like to thank Mayor Joe Purcell for nominating the band,” said Ratliff. “The band’s nomination, which was submitted by Mayor Purcell, then went to Gov. Steve Bullock, who then selected the finalist.”

Apparently, the finalists came down to Hardin and Glendive, but Hardin is the band that won the selection boards favor.

The music department at Hardin schools has always had a very stellar reputation when it came to representing their school, and now that they will be representing the entire state, the Hardin marching band feels that they are up to the challenge, Ratliff said.

“This is a very tremendous honor to be up there with the elite and an even greater responsibility to make sure we put our best foot forward, not just for our community, but also for the entire state,” he added.

The band’s trip, which will consist of a 10-day journey across the country, will present the students with a chance to see the United States that does not come very often. The students, many of whom may not usually journey more than a few hundred miles away from home, will be bussed to Washington, D.C.

Ratliff said the students will have the opportunity to see many different historical sites, points of interest and even some national attractions like Mount Rushmore, Wrigley Stadium and the National Football Hall of Fame.

“We have also arranged to stay at several college’s student housing, which presents several other opportunities in itself for the students to see and stay on a college campuses,” Ratliff said.

The students will have quite a few opportunities to experience, such as visiting the White House, donating a wreath that will be laid upon the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, visiting the Pentagon, visiting a Native American exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, being present at the concert and fireworks display on the National Mall and possibly even playing the “National Anthem” before the start of a Chicago Cubs game.

The students will have no shortage of lifelong memories, Ratcliff said.

“We want to make sure that our students have the best possible time that they can have on this trip,” he said. “So much of our nation’s history is right there in D.C. and so every educational opportunity and every social activity that is available is just enhanced during this trip.”

The marching band, which will be fundraising over the course of the year, also has many other ways that the community can donate to the bands travel funds.

“I want to give a big thank you to Bethany Fuchs and Christy Morse who are spearheading all these fundraisers with the booster club and the parents club, they’ve been doing so much for all the fundraisers for the students,” Ratliff said.

From selling poinsettias during Christmas and lilies during Easter to Cow Pie Bingo, concessions there are so many ways that the band will be raising money. The community can help by donating to the GoFundMe accounted linked on the HHS Marching Band Fundraiser - DC Trip Facebook page.

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