Punahou Marching Band to perform at presidential inaugural parade - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Punahou Marching Band to perform at presidential inaugural parade

Darin Au Darin Au
Jessica Yoshimi Jessica Yoshimi
Brent Nagamine Brent Nagamine

By Roger Mari - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - In a little more than two weeks, Punahou School will have a president to call its own. 1979 Punahou Alumnus Barack Obama will be sworn in on January 20th in Washington D.C... The school will honor the man who hails from the Buffanblu.

They're fine-tuning their instruments and making sure they hit ever step before the big day. The Punahou Marching Band will perform at the presidential inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue with representatives from all over the nation including America's armed forces.

"We're pretty ecstatic to be performing at the inauguration of one of Hawaii's own, Barack Obama and it's just an honor for us as a school and also for the students to represent the state of Hawaii," says Darin Au, music department head.

Nearly 1,400 organizations applied to participate in the 56th inaugural parade. The Punahou Marching Band is one of less than 100 of the groups that were chosen by experienced military musicians.

"I'm sure we all never thought that we'd be involved in something this big, and I think it's actually even more important now because the president-elect is from our school and our state," said band member Jessica Yoshimi.

The pressure is on for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Performing on such a grand stage will require total concentration. With one last day to rehearse, not everybody is feeling the butterflies.

"I'm actually not that nervous. It's something we're preparing for, if we weren't preparing for it would be one thing but I think we're going to be ready," said band member Brent Nagamine.

If the millions of eyes watching them won't make them shake and tremble, something else might. The weather in Washington D.C. could see freezing temperatures.

Saturday, the band rehearsed a number of songs including "Aloha Oe" and "Men of Punahou," the school has been planning for this trip for several months.

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