ATTICA - The sounds of Seneca East High School's band are to echo through New York when musicians perform during the NYC Veterans Day Band of Pride Sept. 11 tribute in Times Square Thursday and during the city's Veterans Day parade Friday.
Director Dana Willman said students were bubbling Wednesday, and their intensity grows every day.
"They're just excited about everything," she said.
Willman said the band took a trip through the same company to New York and marched in the Veterans Day parade four years ago.
"It was amazing," she said.
Willman said she applied for this year's trip, and officials remembered the band.
"We were accepted. ... (These students have) never been there," she said.
According to NYC Veterans Day Celebration's website, to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001, the NYC Veterans Day Band of Pride is to honor victims, their families, first responders and veterans with a high-profile mass band performance in Times Square and the Veterans Day parade.
The cost of the trip was $800 per person, and Willman said each person had to pay for his or her own trip.
Travelers mostly made individual payments, and some anonymous donors helped those who had trouble funding it.
"We had some fundraisers that were specifically for the trip," Willman said.
Four years ago, three girls who were in eighth grade accompanied their older siblings on the trip and carried banners. The three girls now are among the 50 band students who are making this year's trip.
The group also includes three choir students who are to hold flags during the Band of Pride tribute, and 41 guests, with 14 of them assigned chaperone duties. The group is to leave on two tour buses Wednesday and return a week from today.
Some of the highlights of the trip include visiting the Sept. 11 memorial at Ground Zero, taking a Sounds of the City tour to see Central Park, Harlem, Radio City Music Hall and other sites, watching "The Lion King" on Broadway, visiting Empire State Building at night, eating in Little Italy, shopping in Chinatown and going on a dinner-dance cruise with some of the other bands from the parade, which is to enable participants to see Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty at night from the boat.
Willman said students received their music for the performances at least two months ago, and the band, which participated in football games and parades, had been squeezing in practice. They started practicing the music about a month ago.
"Now we're full intense on it," she said.
Wednesday, Willman had the band march for half an hour to make sure students could have the stamina for the performance.
"They were fine," she said.