Norwich band prepares to play for the president - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Norwich band prepares to play for the president

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For trumpeter Kurt Franke, this is the practice run for what could be the highlight of his musical career.

"I've done a couple street parades but nothing on this scale so it's exciting, it's really exciting," Franke says.

Not only is he playing in the President's inaugural parade in Washington D.C., but for him, it's an opportunity to carry on a family tradition.

"I really have no words for it. It's a huge honor."

Since 1957, Franke's father or grandfather has played the inauguration with the Marine Corps but his father retired this past spring.

"It's exciting because I've always heard the stories growing up and everything," explains Franke. "Now I get to go down and experience it and march and do it yourself and be like 'I did that, that was me.'"

The Norwich University Regimental Band has had just three practices since they found out they were chosen to represent Vermont at the inauguration this coming Monday, but their band director says they're ready.

"We're showcasing what we do to the nation," explains band director Lieutenant Colonel Todd Edwards. "But also we're there and this may be everyone's one chance to play for the President and the inaugural parade. Most of all we're going there to have fun."

Edwards selected two tunes: a march called Washington Post and the National Emblem, which was penned by Vermonter Edwin Eugene Bagley.

"When I had read through the history and stuff of the piece and found out it was written by a Vermonter, it was an obvious fit for what we wanted to play in front of the President," says Edwards.

The regimental band has played in five inaugurations in the past for Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

Though a first for all of these cadets -- they plan to march forward with confidence.

"Look the best we can, play the best we can, and do our school proud," Franke explains.

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