PUBLISHED: 10:45 AM on Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Juneau Douglas High School band heads to the Big Apple for March music festival

Photo by Amanda Gragert
  The Juneau Douglas High School wind band plays Friday, Jan. 13 at the band-a-thon. Students took shifts playing for 24 hours to raise money for a trip to New York City in March.
Strike up the band - they're going to New York City.

The Juneau Douglas High School wind ensemble has been working for months to practice and raise funds for a trip to the Big Apple, where about 50 students will perform in Carnegie Hall.

"It was really exciting when we found out. I didn't ever think we'd get to go do that," said Kristina Paulick, a 10th grader who plays the French horn.

Band Director Ken Guiher said the band will travel to New York to perform in the Wind Band Festival. In past years, the band has traveled with the Heritage Music Festival.

"I had kind of given up on (a trip to New York) last year, and when I found out there was only one slot open this year, my heart just sunk," Guiher said.

After submitting a recording of the band online, Guiher was informed the JDHS band was chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall on March 27.

"I was totally amazed. There was luck involved to it. It was the right place at the right time and we had great people helping us out," Guiher said.

The students will be accompanied by about 25 adult sponsors and will sightsee as well as see Broadway shows. Cost of the trip is about $2,000 per student.

Fundraisers have included selling calendars, raffle tickets and playing at the malls.

Matt Cabrigas, a senior euphonium player, said he's excited about the trip.

"I've been in Guiher's band for four years and never got to go anywhere, so I'm pretty excited about traveling," Cabrigas said. "It's something we can brag to our kids about."

Junior flautist Nathan Caldwell said performing at Carnegie Hall is a dream come true for a performer, but fund-raising has been difficult.

"It's hard because the people in sports need fundraising too, and I feel bad asking someone for more money," Caldwell said. "But money's not an issue compared to the great experience we'll get at Carnegie Hall."

A band-a-thon was held Friday, Jan. 13 through Saturday, Jan. 14 to raise funds through sponsorships.

"It's pretty awesome and our parents and community have done so much to let this happen for us. It's time to do our part," Cabrigas said. "I hope we do good for all of the hard work we've put in."

Guiher said students have worked to raise funds and be prepared for their performance.

"These are great kids and they motivate themselves," Guiher said. "They're the cream of the crop and are pretty excited about the trip."