J.P. Taravella Band needs funds for trip to inauguration

There's been no time for slacking this winter break, not for the Marching Trojans.

Instead, members of the J.P. Taravella High School Marching Band have spent the holidays washing cars, hitting up friends and family for cash and learning a new piece of music to play in the parade that will follow President Barack Obama's inauguration.

But their fundraising efforts so far have yielded only a fraction of the money that it will cost to travel to Washington, D.C.: a little more than $25,000 out of the $150,000 they need.

Already, a handful of students have backed out because of money concerns. ''If the money's still short, I'm going to have a smaller band,'' said band director Neil Jenkins.

Members who are still planning to go will gather Saturday for their first practice session as a full group.

They downloaded and worked on the music, a piece called Florida Sunshine, over the break. It combines Stevie Wonder's You Are the Sunshine of My Life with portions of Old Folks at Home, the Florida state song that is also known as Swanee River.

Those remaining 172 members who are left have been asked to pony up $500 each. Beyond that, the band needs to raise another $64,000.

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