Colony band close to Inauguration goal

Anchorage Daily NewsDecember 31, 2008 

WASILLA -- The Mat-Su Borough School Board didn't give Colony High School band director Jamin Burton the $25,000 he needed to get the state's only marching band to Washington, D.C., for President-elect Barack Obama's Inauguration Day parade.

But he's still hoping to get the 46 students, 10 chaperones and their equipment to the capitol for the Jan. 20 event, even if takes a lot of elbow grease.

Burton said he's been working the phones and the airlines to bring down the costs of the trip. He figures he's only about $6,000 short, so close he says he can't give up.

"We thought we've been dead in the water a couple times," he said. "But every time we get there and look at throwing in the towel, we think: 'We got invited to do this by the president-elect on a monumental historic occasion, to possibly play for the biggest audience ever.' We just look at it and say, we have to do that."

The school board held a special meeting Monday and voted on the funding request. The vote ended in a tie vote of 3-3, which meant the request for funding failed.

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