JAMESTOWN, N.C. — The Ragsdale High School Band is practicing for the performance of a lifetime and they have one week to get it perfected.
N.C. Governor Elect Pat McCrory is being sworn in this weekend, the inauguration festivities, including a parade, take place on January 12 at the old State Capitol grounds in Raleigh.
McCrory, a 1974 graduate of Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, invited the Ragsdale band to march in the inauguration parade.
The invite came just before the holiday break in December so the band is just begining to get a look at the music band director Andrew Oldham has chosen for it to play.
“They’re a little bit nervous. They want to make sure it’s done correctly. They want to do a good job,” said Oldham.
“It’s really exciting, it’s actually a really big honor for all of us. We all take this as a high responsibility,” said Ronnie Arnold, a senior in the band.
Oldham says while the band goes on a lot of trips and competes in numerous competitions every fall, performing for the governor and one with a connection like this is a totally different feeling.
Unlike performing a sit down concert with music on stands in front of them, the marching band memorizes all of their music.
So it’s take after take, learning it in chunks and a lot of repitition until it’s just right to Oldham’s ear.
“Dah dah dah dah dee dah dah dah dah deh dah yap Doosh,” Oldham chanted, instructing the band on a perfect rhythm.
“Since we just got this music and we have to prepare it with this amount of time it’s definately pretty challenging,” said Addison Prestwood, the band’s drum major.
They have a week to get it perfected, add the marching steps and impress the new governor in Raleigh.
“I hope he takes some time and enjoys it because it will sound good,” promises Oldham.