Without a dime of dedicated funding, the Eastern High School Marching Band’s show goes on – thanks to teamwork, dedication and support from the community.
“The Blue and White Marching Machine” has gone viral for unscheduled marches through the streets of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC. And these neighbors have returned the favor by helping the band buy gear, uniforms and more by donating to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation campaign.
It makes all the difference for an underserved music program, one of only a few in DC, says band director James Perry.
“We are not underfunded. OK? We’re on a zero dollar budget,” Perry said. “For every little thing we need, we have to collect donations.”
Eastern High School students say it’s worth it.
“It makes me feel like I’m helping others,” Tobias Jackson, co-head of section and 11th-Class student said. “Brighten your day!”
“Everyone here is your friend, right? But when it comes to the band, there’s hierarchy,” said Armani Reynolds, an 11th grade band member. “When you walk into the room, it’s like these people aren’t your friends anymore, they’re your teammates.”
Asia Martin, a junior, describes being in the band as an experience like no other.
“You just have to be here to understand it,” Martin said.
You can donate to the Eastern High School Marching Band here.