Local high school band asked to play presidential inauguration

Local high school band asked to play presidential inauguration
SEATAC, Wash. -- A local high school band has been invited to perform at next year's presidential inauguration, but the students will miss the historic event unless their cash-strapped school can come up with some serious money.

The sound of music fills Lyn Nelthropp's band room. She's taken her Global Connection High School students to competitions around the country, and her wind ensemble recently received an invitation to perform at the presidential inauguration.

"It's a humongous opportunity," she said.

Despite that opportunity, Nelthropp didn't even bother telling her principal about the invite.

"Her initial reaction was, 'That's great, but we could never afford to go on a trip like this,'" said principal Rick Harwood.

But when Nelthropp finally did tell her boss, he didn't flinch.

Harwood told her to get her 37 students ready to perform, saying they would find a way to raise the money. It was music to Nelthropp's ears.

"We're going to actually be there for the swearing in of the 45th president," she said. "That's amazing."

Global Connection isn't a school with a lot of cash, and 78 percent of the students are living in poverty. With flights, hotels and various expenditures, the trip carries a hefty $60,000 price tag.

"Most of our students don't own their own instruments," Harwood said. "Most of our students can't afford private lessons."

Student Chandler Williams can't imagine having to decline the D.C. offer.

"That would be really disappointing because we worked really hard to get there, so for an opportunity to be taken away just because we weren't financially ready, it would be sad," he said.

The kids in the ensemble are too young to vote, but they're all honored by the prestigious invitation.

"It's going to be really cool to see history in the making and be there for it," said student David Smith.

Fundraising committees are now kicking into gear with the goal of getting the kids to Washington. They're already planning bake sales, a holiday bazaar and a huge jazz gala.

The students were selected to play the historic event because of the high scores they received at a competition in Orlando.

Learn more about the band and how you can help them reach their goal here.