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FMS eighth-grade band experiences D.C.

Eighty-nine students got a special history lesson recently when the Farragut Middle School eighth-grade band took a trip to Washington D.C.

Accompanied by band directors Larry Danner and Kathy Sullivan and principal Richard Dalhaus, the students and 15 chaperones took an in-depth tour of our nation’s capital. Over the course of the five day trip, the band saw Washington’s memorials and monuments, including the new World War II memorial.

They also had the opportunity to tour the White House and Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. In addition, the Farragut students were able to visit historic Ford’s Theater and the Peterson house, where Lincoln died, on the 140th anniversary of the President’s assassination.

Stops at the Air and Space Museum, the Holocaust Museum, and the Museum of American History provided the eighth-graders with a detailed look at their past and gave them a chance to see history as more than just pictures in their Social Studies books.

The Farragut band also had several unique experiences on their trip. While in Washington, they performed a full concert of patriotic music in Upper Senate Park against the backdrop of the Capitol Building.

The students also visited Fort McHenry where they played our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in the same place that its author, Francis Scott Key, was first inspired to write those famous lines.

These young people also visited Arlington National Cemetery. After touring the cemetery, the students witnessed the changing of the guard ceremony, and they watched as four of their own presented a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

They visited several historic sites outside Washington. These included Manassas, Va., where the first major battle of the Civil War was fought, the Battle of Bull Run. Students were given a detailed description of the progression of the battle, and it seemed they could almost hear the echoes of cannon firing.

Before they boarded the buses for the 10-hour trip back to Knoxville, the band stopped at Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson.

The students all agree that this was a fantastic trip, a whole new way to learn the history of their country.

As flutist Stephanie Weir put it, “It was an amazing feeling to be in such a place where world-changing events occurred. It was something I’ll never forget, and I have memories that will last me a lifetime.”

Trumpet player Steven Nance agreed. “It was a great experience,” he said, “that I will remember for the rest of my life.”


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