Brattleboro Union High School Band to March in Inauguration Parade

BURLINGTON, December 5 - The Brattleboro Union High School Band will be invited by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to march down Pennsylvania Avenue in the parade after President-elect Barack Obama is sworn into office, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today.

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) wrote a joint letter to the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee urging it to include the Brattleboro band in the parade after the historic inauguration at the Capitol of the 44th president of the United States.

"The band, under the instruction of Stephen Rice, has established itself as a force among young New England music ensembles. Mr. Rice has led the band for more than 20 years and during those two decades he has demonstrated a record of precision and excellence," the delegation letter declared.

"The Brattleboro Union High School band will make a wonderful addition to the inaugural parade. These young musicians and their director truly embody the spirit, strength and excellence of Vermont," the senators and congressman wrote.

Sanders earlier touted the band in a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. "I am writing to express my support for one of Vermont's premier high school bands," Sanders wrote. "Indeed, Brattleboro Union's band has a long and proud tradition of excellence and it is an honor to recommend them to be a part of this year's festivities."

The Brattleboro band has performed in the past at such high-profile events as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, N.Y., the Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival, and Walt Disney World's Magical Musical Days.