Everybody knows that athletes dream of going to the Olympics, but not many people know that musicians do as well. The University of Florida Gator Marching Band is the only college band that has been invited to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. An invitation to perform at the Olympic Games is an honor and the chance of a lifetime, especially for eight proud Vero Beach High School Marching Band alumni. These former VBHS band students are part of the 150 Gator Band members who are planning to attend the trip in July. Starting out on various instruments in 6th grade at Gifford Middle School, all eight students pursued music throughout high school in concert and marching band.
Sarah Piper and Amy Hiser graduated from VBHS in 2008 and have participated together in the Gator Marching Band all four years of college. Piper, an Education major and a trombonist, is currently one of three drum majors at UF. Hiser is an Elementary Education major and a tuba player.
Joshua Lamothe, who graduated from VBHS in 2009, is studying Aerospace Engineering and is a principle trumpeter.
The newest members of the Gator Band, Katherine DiSandro, Kelsey Grabach, Gwendi Lamothe, Samuel Lapeyre, and Gardner Reid all graduated from VBHS in 2011, and performed with the VBHS band at Carnegie Hall in 2010. DiSandro is studying Veterinary Medicine and plays piccolo. Grabach is a Business Administration major and a trombonist. Gwendi Lamothe (sister of Joshua Lamothe) is studying Biochemistry and plays the mellophone. Lapeyre is a Digital Arts and Sciences major and plays baritone. Reid is studying Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and is a trumpeter.
Despite the different majors of these students, they all have one thing in common: they feel blessed to call Vero Beach home. This community has been very generous in supporting student musicians, and these eight VBHS alumni are hoping for continued financial assistance in this new endeavor. The cost of the trip for each band member is $4100, some of which the university is underwriting. It is expected that the individual student will have to contribute $2500-$3500 out of pocket toward the trip expense.
James Sammons, band director at Vero Beach High School for over 30 years says, “I think the Gator Band going to London is absolutely wonderful. We here at Vero Beach High School traditionally have a lot of students in Gator Band, and it makes me very proud that these students have worked hard at the collegiate level and that they are getting this great honor. So not only are they doing the Gator Nation proud, they’re doing Vero Beach High School proud.”
These students will be proud to represent Vero Beach in the 2012 Olympics, and if you are able to assist them financially, please contact Kelsey Grabach at 772-559-2841 or send an email to email@example.com.