By Kelly Ford

Even before the new school year was underway, the band room and music hallway of Bloomingdale High School buzzed with activity as the band’s students, parent volunteers and Director prepared for the new marching band season. The percussion section and Crimson Guard practiced, students were fitted for uniforms, and student leaders hosted the incoming freshmen at band camp.

All were getting ready for the new school year and the excitement of preparing for this year’s halftime show featuring the music of The Incredibles 2. The Rajun’ Bulls will be looking to extend their 31-year streak of ‘Superior’ ratings at their district Marching Music Performance Assessment.

This year, however, the football field will not be the only performance venue for the Rajun’ Bull Band; the ensemble has been invited to perform in Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czechia in March of 2019. Performing abroad is a distinct honor for these music students. “Traveling to foreign countries in such musically historical places like Vienna and Prague is an extension of the classroom. It creates a lifetime of memories and learning,” said Jon Sever, Director of Bands at Bloomingdale.

Parents of students who have participated in such trips agree with Sever’s assessment. Susan Maley’s two children have traveled with the Bloomingdale music programs. Maley said the band trips are trips of a lifetime and added, “My children experienced music in a way that they couldn’t have in the classroom.”

Facilitating such a trip is no small endeavor; the band will have to raise $700,000 for its members, instruments and equipment to make it to Europe. The Bloomingdale Band Boosters will be supporting the trip through fundraising. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students and the band boosters will provide as many opportunities to help offset the costs with fundraising opportunities. We welcome anyone who would like to help with this,” said Alan Chastain, Band Boosters President.

The Rajun’ Bull Band is asking for additional support from the community in the form of sponsorships and donations. Anyone interested in contributing to Bloomingdale’s travel fund may contact Jon Sever or the Bloomingdale Band Boosters at jon.sever@sdhc.k12.fl.us or rajunbullband@mail.com.