Marching band gets funds for inauguration

By Katie Valentine, Staff Writer

After a week and a half of seeking donations, the U marching band has reached its goal to raise the $154,000 needed to send its members to Washington, D.C. to play in President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration parade Jan. 20.

At a late Tuesday night rehearsal, Brian Sproul, director of the marching band, announced that the band would be going to Washington, D.C. in hopes that final donations would come in to cover the costs.

Robert Walzel, director of the School of Music, said he was optimistic from the beginning that the band would get the opportunity to go and has been accepting donations until the last possible moment.

On Tuesday night, Myron Wentz, founder of USANA Health Sciences, heard about the marching band’s invitation and its lack of funds. Early on Wednesday, he decided that USANA Health Sciences would cover whatever remaining cost the band needed to make the trip. Wentz is an alumnus of the U and an avid music lover.

USANA agreed to cover at least $10,000 and would make any extra donation to ensure the band would reach its goal, said Dan Macuga, marketing director for USANA.

The Kenneth and Sally Burbidge Foundation made another donation of $150,000 to be used in the future for scholarships, uniforms and instruments for the marching band.

“The family of Ken and Sally Burbidge, who were longtime band patrons, was so pleased and impressed with the community response that it has decided to match the community gift,” said U President Michael Young in a statement. “It is the family’s intention to continue its support for many years in the future.”

The Burbidge family has supported the marching band for many years, both through attendance and donations, said Walzel. Most of the brass instruments and uniforms have been paid for by the Burbidge family. Scholarships for the marching band have also been funded by Sally Burbidge.

As of Tuesday night, the marching band had approximately $140,000 of the $154,000 needed for the trip.

“We’ve been practicing extra, just in case,” said Chandra Young, a junior in music. Young is excited that the additional rehearsals will pay off.

The marching band has spent night rehearsals marching in parking lots on campus in preparation for the inauguration parade.

Other top donations to the marching band’s cause include Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Applebee’s, Omniture, Kem Gardner, Bruce Bastian, Howard Spurrier, DDS, Cold Stone Creamery. U alumnus Sherm Smith arranged in-home stays in the Washington, D.C. area.

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