NOLA Will Be Destination for McClellan High School Band

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - One group of students will soon let the good times roll in the Big Easy...

Mardi Gras is one of the countries biggest parties to kick off the start of Lent - a period of time before Easter where people give something up as a religious observation - but before they do give an indulgence up, they hit the streets for food, fun and, of course, the ever-popular beads...

The McClellan High School marching band is preparing to hit the streets of New Orleans not to watch the annual parade - but rather - to perform in it.

In the McClellan high school band room, students of all grade levels are practicing their music.

They aren't just learning in another class period, they're getting ready for much more.

"One of the largest events in New Orleans..." Dwione Thomas, McClellan Band Director, said.

Dwione is both the Band Director and the Director of Fine Arts, and his band is preparing to play in the Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans.

"I feel like it's going to be a great experience," Junior piccolo player Savannah Glenn said.

Savannah says getting the opportunity to march in the big parade is cool, but the band is more influential than that.

"I'm learning my instrument and I'm actually becoming myself. It's helping me embrace myself," Savannah said.

She's just one of dozens in the band.

Dwione says, in the last few years, the band has almost doubled in size.

"As far as the band, we grew from 30-something members to over 65-70," Dwione said.

He says this room is where these students come to learn valuable lessons.

"Cohesiveness, working together... Their gifts and the talents they have can actually flow into every other area of their life," Dwione said.

They make sure they have the right notes, and are ready to rock and roll.

They say just being here is hitting a high note.

The band leaves Friday to head to New Orleans. And it isn't all about fun and games... the band will also be meeting and practicing with the Southern University Marching Band. 

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