London is calling, and the West Orange High School Warrior Band is answering.
The 200-student marching band, directed by Kenneth Boyd, is invited to march in the 2020 New Year’s Day parade in London, and band members have been holding fundraisers to send as many students as possible on the trip.
The latest fundraiser is a massive rummage sale, set for 7 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 13, in the senior parking lot on the north end of the WOHS campus.
Donations from the community steadily have been coming in, committee members said. This includes patio furniture, several sofas and dining room sets, a queen bed set, household items, safes, new tires, bicycles, toys and clothing.
Members of the marching band will be performing during the sale to show shoppers why they deserve this honor.
The trip, scheduled for Dec. 27 through Jan. 3, 2020, will cost $3,200 per person, and the goal is to send the entire band. Ninety students have signed up.
The invitation to march in the international parade is an exclusive one and comes from a recommendation from another band in the United States. More than 10,000 performers participate annually. The popular parade attracts a street audience in excess of 500,000; millions more around the world watch it on television.
British dignitaries delivered the prestigious invitation to the West Orange band in September.
“We are relying on the kindness of those we know to help us out,” the band trip committee said. “We feel the West Orange Band has been a source of pride for our community since West Orange High School opened.”
Band director Kenneth Boyd is one of the reasons for the band’s success, and he is grateful for the community commitment.
“The students, parents and I truly appreciate the support of the Winter Garden community,” Boyd said. “We are excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students and need everyone’s help making it a reality. If you can’t attend the rummage sale, please consider sponsoring the band. Sponsorships come (in) amounts perfect for all budgets, and every little bit helps.
“We have already raised in excess of $30,000 but have so much more to go,” Boyd said.
Several businesses and a few individuals have made contributions to the trip fund, and two restaurants have held spirit-night events to help raise the money necessary for the trip.
This will be the first time the Warrior Band performs internationally.