The public is invited to send off Westfield High School’s Marching Band following the final performance of the high school’s musical “Into the Woods” at 10 p.m. March 15.
The Shamrock Pride will depart for a jam-packed, four-day trip to New York City, where it will march in the 253rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade will be streamed live at http://nycstpatricksparade.org.
“It’s a fairly involved trip along with marching in the parade,” WHS Band Publicity Coordinator Jeri Schantz said. “I feel a lot of pride, very fitting being a Shamrock there in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”
While there, students will take in the sights of The Big Apple including Rockefeller Center, the 9-11 Memorial and a performance of “Wicked” on Broadway.
“It will keep them pretty busy,” Schantz said.
A tour group specializing in major school trips has helped plan the band’s itinerary, including a performance at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex featuring the retired aircraft carrier, USS Intrepid.
“There are a great variety of experiences to look forward to,” said Matthew Schantz, Jeri’s husband and parent chaperone. “Free time in Times Square, it’s a lot different than Westfield or Indianapolis. It’s a big experience for a lot of folks. They are playing on an aircraft carrier – there are people who have never seen an aircraft carrier at all.”
Matthew previously attended a band trip to Saint Louis when their son, Eli, was a middle school student.
“I’m really excited about it and looking forward to it,” he said. “I got to know his friends in their natural environment.”
The Shamrock Pride takes a couple of trips every two years and alternates between big and smaller trips.
“I’m glad he can take one or two like this,” Jeri said of her freshman son.
“It may be his only opportunity for a big one in his high school time,” Matthew said.
Students will miss three days of school and return in the early hours Thursday morning before heading to classes.
“I took a similar trip when I was a senior in high school. I’m glad the high school is able to go and experience it,” Jeri said. “I’m thankful he’s able to go.
“The 253rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a big event in New York City. It’s not the Thanksgiving or Christmas parade, but in the city it is probably going to be just as big,” Matthew said.
Current in Westfield will update its website with daily blogs and photos from the marching band trip to New York City.