Bray_July 4 is only a couple of weeks away, and two dozen kids from Bray will spend America's Independence Day in Washington, D.C. The Bray-Doyle Band will march and play in the Independence Day Parade. The kids practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. in preparation for the big day.
The band has grown in size and talent, and through a lot of practice have improved greatly. "We went from not being able to play any music, to being able to march and play, and do good at it," said 12th-grade drum major Kayla Ahuna. The band members say marching isn't easy, and the drum major - who leads the marching - must lead walking backward. "It's not just walking and playing. You have to stay together, stay in step, stay in line with everybody else, and you have to be able to play it without sounding bad," said 12th-grade trumpet player Blake Moore.
Phillip Mullen's idol is his brother, who also plays the drums. Now, Phillip keeps rhythm for the band. "I just started playing drums, and I started watching the band play in the football games," he said. "I just loved it so I've done it ever since."
Other siblings look up to their brothers and sisters, too. One little girl came and practiced marching with her brother, and another newcomer to the band is their director. He just got the job and has been at Bray for only three weeks. "It's one of those exciting yet scary things that you have a very limited amount of time to get to know the students," said band director Bryan Pope. "That's why I had some of them wear name tags for when we get to D.C."
The kids are fired up about playing at the nation's capitol. "I'm really excited we get to go, because some of these people haven't been out of Bray before," said Kayla. "It'll be a really good experience for all of us." The band intends to demonstrate that it's not the size of the band, or where they come from that's important - it's how they sound. "This morning I was going through how we were going to line up and trying to decide the best place to put people to make us look bigger than we actually are," said Pope. "If we're not the smallest, I'm sure we're probably the band that's traveling the furthest." An Edmond, Oklahoma school will also be heading to D.C. to peform.