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Harrison High School Band Gears Up for Hawaii Trip

HARRISON, N.Y. -- Their 5,000-mile trip isn't until December, but that doesn't mean Harrison's High School band isn't hard at work for its first trip to Hawaii.

The beat of Harrison will make its way to Honolulu on Dec. 7 when the school's band, color guard and majorettes represent their state in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.

Band directors Dr. Fred Pasqua and Charlie Briem said they were thrilled and honored to be chosen to represent the school, and the state, at the event.

"It took our breath away when I first got the letter," Briem said. "It was too good to be true. I was almost dubious that it was such a shock."

The parade, now in its second year, includes a one-mile march down Hawaii's coastline and leads into a nighttime concert. Bands from throughout the country were selected to perform and honor veterans associated with the 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor.

"It's the largest thing we've ever done in terms of honoring at a ceremony," Pasqua said. "It becomes more than just a line the students read in the history books. It's an educational thing for them."

Briem said the students jumped with joy when they learned of the upcoming performance. Meanwhile, Pasqua said there was still a lot of work to be done.

"We have to prepare, and that means preparing music, fundraising, and getting support from all the people we represent," Pasqua said. "And we're very excited to do that."

This year's celebration marks the 50th anniversary of the USS Arizona Memorial, originally dedicated in 1962. The trip, scheduled from Dec. 2 to Dec. 9, will be funded through various donations and fundraisers organized by the school.

"We're very deeply honored to have that opportunity," Briem said.

Harrison's marching band has been a celebrated group to come out of the school and travels annually to Chicago and Florida among other performances throughout the year. Members of the band have performed at various notable venues over the years included a stop at New York Giants home MetLife Stadium last month .

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