Eleventh grade student Ervans Saint Clair plays the baritone for the Ram Regiment Band at Palm Beach Lakes Community High School and is excited about his next gig. “Man, we’re going to the Sugar Bowl! We’re going New Orleans."
The 100-person band has been preparing since July, after getting word they made the cut in May. They were among eight bands selected from 30 that applied.
“High energy, intensity, a great impeccable sound, great and hard work,” is how twelfth grade student David Turner described the band.
“We put more energy, we put more effort, that’s what makes us the best,” Yasmine Jones, a tenth grader who plays the French horn, said.
Thursday they performed a lunchtime three-minute routine. It was a practice run for the nine-minute routine at the New Year’s Day bowl game. Thursday, it was in front of students. January first, it’s the nation.
“I’m going to be a little bit scared but I’m going to take that energy and convert it back into my instrument and let it play out,” Saint Clair said.
The music has New Orleans in its DNA, the birthplace of Jazz.
“I feel like once I get there it’s going to be like shivers and kind of like a nostalgic feeling of something I’ve never had before. It’s really cool,” Saint Clair said.
It’s the band’s first out-of-state trip.
“It says a lot. It says that we’re working hard,” Josh Velez, the band’s director, said.
On top of the halftime show, they’re part of the parade and a competition with the rival bands. They hope the Sugar Bowl has a sweet ending.
“We will see you in Louisiana,” Turner said.
The trip costs $105,000 and they’re about $10,000 short of their goal. Donations can be dropped off at the main office.
PALM BEACH LAKES COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL 3505 SHILOH DR. WEST PALM BEACH, FL 33407 PHONE 561-640-5000 FAX 561-688-5340