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WJHS Band takes Chicago!

On November 20, 2018, the West Johnston High School band traveled to Illinois to perform in the Uncle Dan's Thanksgiving Day Parade through historic downtown Chicago, realizing a dream their director, Lucas Meade, had for his students. Seventy-six band members made the journey by invitation from the World Strides Travel Group and braved 30-degree wind chills to march one extraordinary mile through the windy city, playing a cut from "Saturday in the Park" (by Chicago), a piece the band performed as part of their fall competition. Mr. Meade shared this about the occasion: "The most magical moment of the day was walking alongside the band with skyscrapers on either side and thousands of people cheering, and realizing that I had made this special moment a reality for the kids. Their faces expressed great joy over simply creating live music for a crowd of people." The band students also spent three days exploring Chicago, including taking a trolley tour, visiting Soldier Field and the Museum of Science and Industry, and shopping the Magnificent Mile on Black Friday. "The entire trip was amazing," says Mr. Meade. "It was a privilege to be able to provide such an incredible experience to our kids, many of whom have never left the state before. Thankfully, we escaped the snow storm that arrived a few days after the parade, and we're back all home to share the memory."