Pride of Madawaska headed to Washington DC for inauguration concert

By  | 

MADAWASKA, Maine (WAGM) - Benjamin Meiklejohn has only been directing the Pride of Madawaska since October, but he's taking this band on it's biggest trip in a long time.

"It's a dream come true going to Washington, especially for the whole band," said junior Celeste Lausier.

Sophomore Ryan Levesque added, "I honestly didn't believe it at first. I thought it was all a joke and I thought it was going to pass aside."

But Meiklejohn wasn't joking when he told the band that they were selected to play at the Lincoln Memorial concert in the nation's capital, as part of the inauguration.

"I could almost see the jaws drop to the floor and I could hear the gasps of excitement, I hadn't seen the band come to life and be so motivated until that point," the band director added.

Motivated to put on a good show in DC, but also motivated by the financial support it took to get them there. The band has raised 25 thousand dollars so far for the trip, and they have another nine thousand promised.

Zack Epstein is a senior in the band and plays trumpet, he said "It really brought faith back into the community about us."

Lausier said this about the money raised, "It's just wow. It's a miracle."

But this miracle doesn't come without hard work and plenty of practice time, And these students will continue practicing to play the right notes, so they can make the state proud of the owls.

"So hard work, while it may be a lot of work. It's definitely manageable, and it's definitely possible," Epstein said.

Levesque added, "It's a lot of work, but it's worth it in the end."

All the moving parts of the band will come together for this concert. A concert they say isn't about who is being elected, but is about seizing a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Meiklejohn said, "It's really about being part of a historical event, that like clockwork has happened every four years since the founding of our nation."

So Meiklejohn will continue to conduct, these students will continue to play, In order to fill Washington DC with the sweet sound of Music in Aroostook.

They depart for D.C on Monday, January 16th. They will play on the afternoon of January 19th, the day before President elect Trump is sworn into office.