COLUMBIA — Members of the Hickman High School marching band are packing their bags (and instrument cases) for Hawaii.
The group departs from Columbia at 2 a.m. on Wednesday morning. They are scheduled to perform a concert at the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor and march in the King Kamehameha Parade in Honolulu.
While the occasional trip to the tropical state sweetens the overall musical experience, the history in Hawaii adds an educational element as well, Rob Nichols, director of band, said.
“The Kamehameha celebration is one of the longest running in the country, so it has a huge heritage behind it," Nichols said, "and then the whole day at Pearl Harbor is obviously historically great for the kids to see.”
On top of their performances, their itinerary includes a relaxing day on the beach and an island tour of Oahu.
This is the band’s third trip to Hawaii. Each year, the music department provides the choir, orchestra and band an opportunity for a trip on a rotating basis.
Students raise money to cover their travel expenses through various fundraisers including magazine and cookie dough sales.
Nathan Blount, a trumpet player, will be a senior in the fall. He’s been looking forward to the excursion since he joined the band in sixth grade and watched his older brothers go before him.
“They had a bunch of fun,” he said. “It’s Hawaii – how can it not be fun?”
Kaitlyn Browning is a member of the color guard and graduated in May. For her, it will be one last trip with her friends before she attends MU in the fall.
“It’s a good way to end my senior year,” Browning said. “I think I’m going to be emotional afterward because some of my friends are going all over the place, so it’s our last time to really bond."