The NFA Wildcat Marching Band will take the field at MetLife Stadium tomorrow in the USBands Class III Open National Championship. The band performs at 9:52 a.m. (and yes, that does say a.m., as in the morning). The band will travel to New Jersey by coach bus, departing NFA at 4:30 a.m. and returning around 8:30 p.m. Full event details can be found at the USBands web site. Please note that awards for Class III Open will be held at 2 p.m. at the Central Stage, near the main entrance to the stadium. This is the first time the band has traveled to Nationals since (at least) 2009, but the performance will be a fitting end to a fantastic season that saw the Wildcats win the Connecticut State Championship in their division.
The Road to Nationals
Prior to the start of the 2013 season, there had been some talk of maybe going to Nationals, but no firm decision had been made. As a result, neither the school nor the Boosters had included the event’s cost into their budgets. Once the staff decided to make the trip, the band and boosters sprang into action, holding a variety of fundraisers, which ultimately raised enough money to nearly cover the entire cost of the trip. The efforts included:
- Vigorous fund-raising efforts at the Homecoming football game, including the sale of paper “Shakos.” The shakos were ultimately put on a bulletin board outside the band room, lining a symbolic “Road to Nationals.”
- Efforts by several parents to raise money at their places of employment.
- A highly energetic effort to raise money at NFA. Members of the NFA Community, including staff and faculty, made numerous and generous contributions to support the band.
- An impromptu concession stand at the ECC Volleyball tournament, which was held at NFA. Several parents were able to pull this fundraiser together on just over three-hours notice.
- A pizza fundraiser, sponsored by the band council, at Tulli’s Restaurant, located in the Taftville section of Norwich.
Overall, it was encouraging to see members of the NFA community pull together to support the Wildcat Marching Band!