From Reston Parade to Pearl Harbor

By Kathleen Jacoby
Fine and Performing Arts
December 04, 2023

What’s 5,000 miles between parades? The Herndon High School band just finished a successful showing at the Reston Holiday Parade and is heading to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Monday December 4.

“We’re thrilled to be marching on one side of the country and then the other!” Band Director Kathleen Jacoby, said. “Over 80 students are coming. It’s going to be a life changing experience for them.”

“I’m really excited to go to Pearl Harbor”, Drum Major Amran Ahmed said. “I can’t wait to march in the parade because it's really popular and it's at night. Plus, I've never been on a plane before!” The flight duration is over 13 hours, but the senior plans to spend her time usefully, completing her homework.

The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade pays respect to the Pearl Harbor survivors, veterans, and active-duty military. It takes place each year on the anniversary of December 7th, 1941. The band will also perform on the USS Missouri and at Fort DeRussy Park, as well as meet with veterans. Time is also scheduled for an island tour and visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Polynesian Cultural Center, and there’s a college campus nearby that I’m interested in”, sousaphone leader Eric King said. “I’m a senior so I’m lucky to go in my last year. Sadly, last year’s seniors didn’t get to go to either Hawaii or France”.

As well as marching to a parade medley of the Armed Forces, the band’s repertoire includes Amazing Grace and God Bless America. “I’m
looking forward to the parade”, Eric said. “I play the sousaphone so I’m in the back of the brass line, so I essentially follow everybody else. Leading from the back!”

In order for every student to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event, the band has been fundraising tirelessly. Musicians, volunteers and parents have conducted myriad fundraising events from selling citrus, popcorn and mattresses - to yard sales. Please contact @email or Donations of any amount gratefully received via the Herndon High School Band PayPal Giving Fund at or can be mailed to Herndon High School Band, P.O. Box 1293, Herndon, VA 20172. “As you can imagine, it’s incredibly expensive to move a marching band”, Ms Jacoby said. “We are so appreciative of any and all support!”

Established 1947, award-winning Herndon High School Band is rightly known as “The Pride of Herndon” and celebrated its 75th Anniversary last year. It has grown from an original 40 musicians and 6 majorettes to 200 students strong. The band program includes Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Indoor Drumline and Indoor Guard. The band has not only achieved myriad awards and honors and represented internationally - but instilled a love of music in countless students.