Lakewood Ranch High School students to perform in inaugural parade

vmannix@bradenton.comJanuary 16, 2013 

LAKEWOOD RANCH

Greta Curry, Sammy Hyatt and Matt Vaadi haven't begun packing yet, but they know what's on their list of things to bring for their big trip, respectively.

Trumpet. Check.

Flag. Check.

Baritone. Check.

Warm clothes?

Check. Check. Check.

The three Lakewood Ranch High School Marching Mustang band members will perform Monday in the 57th Inaugural Parade with the famous Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps, and they are making sure they are prepared for cold weather in the nation's capital.

"I'm going to wear as much as I can put on under my track suit," said Hyatt, 15, a sophomore with the color guard.

Ditto for Curry and Vaadi, who, like Hyatt, bought enough thermal clothing for temperatures the Weather Channel forecasts to be between 41 and 30 while they're marching 1.5 miles along Pennsylvania Avenue.

"I'm hoping it's not so cold," said Curry, 17, a senior, who was the Marching Mustang brass captain. "But it's going to be an experience."

A most memorable one, regardless.

Deserving, too.

That Curry and Vaadi are also in the LRHS jazz band and wind ensemble, speaks volume of their dedication and talent, said their mentor.

"This is a huge honor for these kids who grew up in this program," said Ron Lambert, the LRHS band

director. "It's great exposure, too, because the Boston Crusaders are world class. It doesn't get much better than that."

Founded in 1940 for Boston area youth, the corps has performed at previous inaugural parades and has been a perennial contender at the annual Drum Corps International competition in Indianapolis.

They were seventh last summer.

Curry successfully auditioned and toured with the Boston Crusaders last year while her cohorts auditioned last November.

Receiving word they'd been invited to the inaugural parade was sublime for all three, and extra special for Vaadi.

It was his 18th birthday -- two days before Christmas -- when the phone call came.

"That was so cool," said the Marching Mustang band captain. "I know this experience is something you can only do so many times, so it was like my present."

Hyatt grows more excited as Inauguration Day nears.

"Almost no one can say they marched in a presidential inaugural parade and I'm going to be able to say I did that," said the first runnerup in the Manatee County Fair Pageant's Junior Miss Division. "It's beyond anything I've done before to be part of something so historic."

It will be even more meaningful for Curry, who will get to enjoy the experience with her sister.

A music major at the University of Central Florida, Ilsa Curry will also be playing trumpet for the Boston Crusaders on Monday.

"It would be awesome experience just for yourself, but to be able to share it with a family member means so much more," Greta Curry said. "Not many can say that, either."

They leave Saturday and return Tuesday.

There is one other item the trio will definitely bring.

"Lots of ChapStick," Curry said.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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