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‘I will never forget this.’ Local high school band performs in Hawaii for Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.


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RIGBY — Performing in short-sleeved Hawaiian shirts and shorts, the Rigby High School marching band won’t soon forget the surreal experience they had in a parade in Hawaii earlier this week.

“The parade was so much fun. There were so many more people than I have ever played for and it was crazy to think about who was watching,” said Matthew Black, a 17-year-old senior student at Rigby High School.

Black was one of 42 local students who performed in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade on Tuesday. It was the 80th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.

RELATED: Local high school band invited to perform at Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Hawaii

“People were watching from around the world right there 10-feet-away from me on the side of the road. We marched down all of the Waikiki strip. It was fantastic. I will never forget this,” Black said.

Matthew Black
Matthew Black and band members in Hawaii | Courtesy: Matthew Black

Black explained he played sousaphone in the parade. He was the only student playing that specific instrument in the band.

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Matthew Black with his instrument in Hawaii | Courtesy: Matthew Black

He told it was his first time being in Hawaii and the first time he had ever traveled on a plane.

“I have been to beaches before but this is the first time I’ve been to the Pacific Ocean. The water is so much warmer. It feels so great. It’s been fun to experience the waves,” he said.

It was also the first time in Hawaii for Aaron Marshall, the band director for the Rigby High School Trojan Band.

Marshall said the previous band director applied to participate in the parade and they were accepted to represent the state of Idaho by The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade Committee.

“At the opening ceremonies, there was a survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack that actually talked to the students and he just talked about his experiences. He’s almost 100-years-old,” said Marshall. “It’s hard to describe the type of education that we get being here, being in the spot where the Pearl Harbor attacks took place and hearing from the veterans.”

Marshall said while on their trip, they have been taking time to experience the culture on the island. On Thursday, he and his students were headed to check out the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie.

He told he hopes the band can experience the parade sometime again soon.

“It was just amazing. It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of money. It might not happen again immediately but I think it’s definitely a possibility for the future,” he said.

The band returns to Rigby Friday.

The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is produced annually by Historic Programs. Click here to watch the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.

There were 93 participants involved in the parade including marching bands representing North Carolina, Illinois, Georgia, Utah and elsewhere.

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