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12 picked to play with Navy Concert Band
Band plays Everett Civic Auditorium Wednesday, Feb. 13
EVERETT - Twelve high school students in Everett have been selected to perform with the U.S. Navy Concert Band, one of the most prestigious bands in the country. The bands plays for the president, at state funerals and other major national events.
The 87-year-old band is coming to Everett Wednesday, Feb. 13. The students will be part of the ensemble’s final piece.
The free community concert starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Everett Civic Auditorium at Everett High School, 2514 Colby Ave. People can get tickets through the Everett School District, Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo and the mayor’s offices of Everett and Marysville. Non-ticket holders will be let in the door if space is available.
The hand-picked students in Lesley Moffat’s band class at Jackson High School are excited to play. Four students each from Jackson, Everett and Cascade high schools will be performing.
They’ll be playing John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post” march as the ending piece. The Washington, D.C. paper commissioned the piece for a ceremony in 1889.
“I’m not nervous, it’s a fun song to play,” Kristin Kane, 17, said. She’ll be holding down the bass line with her tuba.
“It’s actually quite simple,” snare drum player Nicole Moffat, 15, said of the piece.
“Even if it’s a simple song, it’s interesting to hear it with professionals on the same stage,” alto sax player Amy Chiu, 17, said. “I heard them recorded and they sounded amazing.”
The students aren’t nervous. They’ve been practicing one hour a day or more leading up to the performance. Each student has been playing for at least six years.
The Jackson band players have played bigger venues: Last year 80 Jackson musicians performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall so far was “the best thing ever,” Kane said.
The Navy band, though, is the biggest band they’ve played with.  
“To hear them play is something, and then to play with them, oh,” Moffat said.
The Navy band doesn’t come at a whim’s notice. This is the first time they’ve played in Everett.
Community volunteer Frank McCord’s persistence paid off in getting the big band to come. The former CEO of Cascade Bank has been asking the Navy for the band to come for years.
“This is the first time, and maybe the last time for a very long time, you’ll hear them because it’s hard to get them,” McCord said.
If Everett residents have seen the Navy band locally, they probably saw the Navy’s Commodores 18-piece jazz band, McCord said.
“People will think, “well, I’ve seen it’,” McCord said. “You’ve never seen anything like this and may never see it again.”
The Navy band brings its best musicians — some Broadway-trained — and performs music and dance numbers, McCord said.
Everett beat out Seattle for the honor of hosting the concert band. The band also will be playing in Puyallup and Vancouver as part of its national tour.
“I think it will go really well, and we’re prepared,” Kane said.
The 12 students scheduled to play with the U.S. Navy Concert Band are:
Everett High School:
• Jeremy Blas -string bass
• Nikoline Larsen - bassoon
• Hannah Willard - alto clarinet
• Juan Carrillo – trombone
Jackson High School:
• Nicole Moffat - percussion
• Clare Hao - clarinet
• Amy Chiu - alto sax
• Kristen Kane - tuba
Cascade High School:
• Kelly Grounds - trombone
• Nick Bledsoe - euphonium
• Christy Rukstalis - trumpet
• Breanna Kelsey – clarinet


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