Every other year, the Morgan High School band gets to embark on a journey outside of their normal school routine. This year, their adventure took them to Washington D.C.
All year students went door to door selling cookie dough and pizza, stayed long hours to prepare for their annual swing night, and bartered services with friends and relatives in order to raise needed funds. Some students even cleaned a winters worth of dog droppings to achieve their goal, and said it was totally worth it.
The trip included many enriching activities such as a high school music exchange, clinic at the University of Maryland, a musical performance of the National Symphony Orchestra and a live performance of “The Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
It also included visits to many historical sites including the National Archives, the National History Museum, the Museum of American History, the Union Station, the Capitol Visitor’s Center, the Air and Space Museum, Ford’s Theater, Peterson house, Arlington Cemetery and many more. As always, the Morgan character showed through and even though there were some funny misunderstandings, one of which lead to being kicked out of the National Archives, the students were all model citizens.
Band director Chad McClean said the trip was fun and enriching for all who ventured out with their group. “Having been to D.C. before, I just really enjoyed being with my students and providing for many of them this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said McClean. “I really appreciated all the chaperones who made my job a lot easier and want to thank all the parents who made it possible for their kids to enjoy this experience.”
After arriving home, students performed at the region band competition and received a superior rating. This earned them the privilege of performing at the state band competition Saturday, May 3. They played “Choreography,” “The Thunderer,” and “A Highland Rhapsody.”
The MHS band was the last of 45 bands to take the stage for the tired judges, but the band’s beautiful renditions of these tunes must have struck a chord because they received an “Excellent” rating. This is a tribute to the hard work of these students and the dedicated talent of their instructor.
McClean would like to invite everyone to the final band concert on May 14. It will be a combined concert with the Morgan Middle School band and will be Dr. Gordon Johnson’s last hoorah before he retires. Please help us bid a fond farewell to this amazing teacher who has given his time, talent and love to the students of Morgan.