Band to play in Washington, D.C.

JACKSON— In July, whileAmericans are celebrating 236 years of independence, students from Jackson Liberty High School will be marching in the national Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C.

Chosen as the unit to represent New Jersey, the members of the Liberty Lions band will be marching down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the streets for the parade, including members of Congress, cabinet members and President Barack Obama.

“I am excited and honored our band was chosen” to participate in the national parade, said Jason Lyons, a Jackson Liberty junior and drum captain. “Not everyone gets the chance to play for the president. It will be an experience I will never forget.”

The Liberty Lions were selected to participate by the national selection committee. The marching and jazz band submitted an application, a video of their performance and an audio recording. Only one band per state is chosen, according to a press release.

“It is a really big honor to be chosen, and I am so proud our students have earned this opportunity,” said Scott Katona, director of the Jackson Liberty band.

The Independence Day parade will begin at 11:45 a.m. July 4 and feature traditional American themes, including aspects of the country today, along with its history. The participating bands will be joined in the parade by military units, military vehicles and veterans groups.

The Jackson students will be in Washington, D.C., from July 3 to July 5. As part of the proceedings, all of the band members will be able to attend the PBS concert at the Capitol, which features the National Symphony Orchestra.

“I know our kids will represent Jackson and the state of New Jersey proudly,” Katona said.