Durant's Cougar Pride Marching Band performed in Hawaii at the 75th Pearl Harbor Anniversary Mass Band Event at the USS Missouri. True "once in a lifetime" performance opportunities do not come along often. Yet that's precisely what was to be when bands gathered in Hawaii for a mass band performance in conjunction with the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary commemoration. The mission of this cultural exchange was to demonstrate in a truly remarkable manner, how cultures once opposed can work together 75 years after the "Day of Infamy."
Bruce Herrmann, Director of Instrumental Music at Durant High School, believes that the greatest lesson for the students on this trip was “realizing exactly how tragic an event the attack on Pearl harbor was, because this generation of students is so far removed from that event. After the ceremony, and especially after our visit to the USS Arizona, it was evident that our kids felt the weight of this tragedy and why the nickname, "The Greatest Generation" is appropriate.”
To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, together with EMI Hawaii & Group Travel Network, proudly hosted a mass band performance featuring student musicians from Japan and the United States of America. Durant High School’s Marching Band had the honor of being included as part of the group. There were 30 Durant band students in Hawaii along with 26 chaperones, including the Band Director, Bruce Herrmann, and the Principal, Pamela Bowden. Overall, there were a total of 1600 students playing in the mass band performance, and Durant was the only school from Hillsborough County invited to participate.
Susie Roscoe, chaperone and mother of Nate Roscoe, a junior who plays the trumpet in the band said, “The planning and fundraising efforts began in the Spring of 2015 as soon as we learned about this trip." Raymond James allowed families to work events on behalf of their students including the Bucs & USF games and concerts. The students also sold t-shirts & poinsettias, hosted rummage sales and participated in a clay shoot.
Of course, there were those lighter moments on the trip, including experiencing snow for the first time in many of the student’s lives. Mrs. Roscoe said upon landing at Chicago’s airport, “Mr. Herrmann approved a quick trip outside to complete this trip of a lifetime. In true Florida fashion several of the teens invaded the 28o weather while wearing shorts & flip flops and filling the air with laughter while snowballs were flying!”
According to Ted Hope, HCPS Supervisor of Secondary Music Education, "This was an exciting opportunity for our Durant group to be able to perform at an event that will never happen again - the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I imagine that being part of this was a great history lesson as well, so not only did the students gain musical performance experience, they got to come face to face with a piece of authentic American history!"
Enjoy photos of the mass band event in the Flickr album below. To watch a video of the entire Ceremony and Mass Band/Choir performance at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial, please click this link: http://www.channel808.tv/2016/75thpearlharbor/.