SANDWICH – Fifteen-year-old Joshua Frosch, a freshman at Sandwich High School, loves learning and reading about anything having to do with history.
On Jan. 20, Frosch will witness history being made. He will be in Washington, D.C., attending the presidential inauguration ceremony.
Forty-three Sandwich High School band and chorus members, five chaperones and the band’s director, Justin Heinekamp, will travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony and participate in the 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival.
Frosch, a baritone saxophonist, has been looking forward to the trip since his sister traveled with the high school four years ago for the last presidential inauguration.
“I’ve always wanted to see D.C., and I’ve been looking forward to going myself,” Frosch said. “I love all the history there, the monuments and the museums. I’ll be there when history is being made. Being able to go there with my friends and play music at the festival makes it more fun and interesting.”
The students will travel by coach bus to the nation’s capital, bringing their instruments and sheet music with them. Large percussion instruments will be provided for use during the festival, but the school will bring smaller percussion instruments, such as triangles, tambourines and their mallets and drumsticks.
Participating in the 2017 Inauguration Heritage Festival will allow the students to have an on-stage mini clinic with written and recorded comments from a panel of three nationally acclaimed adjudicators, a commemorative gift and a professional recording of their performance.
Heinekamp said the school’s music department has a standing invitation to participate in the festival. The students have been practicing the music, which includes Americana and folk songs, for the past three months in preparation for the festival.
“The presidential inauguration is an important event and is very historic, no matter which political side you’re on,” Heinekamp said. “Being able to witness the inauguration, see museums and monuments and be with 40 of your best friends is really exciting. It also gives the students a sense of pride. They’re representing Sandwich and they have the opportunity to show others their talents and skills.”
After their musical performance, the students will attend an inaugural banquet at the National Conference Center. The banquet will include the festival’s award ceremony, dinner and dancing.
Sophomore Jaden Frantzen, 15, will perform in both the choir as a soprano and the band on oboe. She said she is excited to go to Washington with her friends and to attend the banquet’s formal ball.
“Being able to perform in D.C., see the inauguration and attend the ball is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Frantzen said. “I can’t wait to see all of the monuments and museums and make lots of memories.”
During their six-day stay in Washington, the students also will visit famous sites in the area, including Mount Vernon, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Newseum, Ford’s Theatre, Reagan Trade Center, Pentagon City Mall and possibly Arlington National Cemetery. They also will receive a guided tour around D.C., seeing the White House, the National Cathedral, Embassy Row and the Vietnam, Lincoln, Korean, World War II, Jefferson and Washington memorials.
Frosch said the place he is most looking forward to visiting is the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, which has two hangars featuring thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Concorde and the space shuttle Discovery.
Freshman bass clarinetist Katelin Csiszer, 15, and her brother, senior trombonist Brandon, 18, will both perform with the band in the festival.
“We’ve been practicing our music for months, and it’s exciting to think that our trip is almost here,” Katelin Csiszer said. “We’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time. We can’t wait to go.”
The choir’s director, Erin Manning, is unable to travel because of her pregnancy, but she said she is proud of the students for their hard work and can’t wait to see pictures when they return.
“It’s a big honor to go and perform during the festival and to be in Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration,” Heinekamp said. “This trip embodies what we want to do as teachers, as a school: it combines education, history and fun. The kids will remember this trip for the rest of their lives, that they went to D.C., played music and saw the inauguration.”