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The Drury High School band will be marching in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., this year.

Drury Band to March in Washington Fourth of July Parade

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Video capture of Drury students marching in 2016.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Drury High School band will again represent Massachusetts marching in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
 
The four-day trip from July 2-5 will take a busload of students and chaperones to the nation's capital to perform in the parade for the third time and to visit historic sites and museums. The band will march down Constitution Avenue for one mile between 7th and 17th streets. The parade organizers try to have at least one band or unit represent each of the 50 states.
 
"I'm very proud to have our students representing North Adams and Drury High School," band leader Christopher Caproni told the School Committee on Tuesday night in requesting permission for the trip, later adding, "So the band is an awesome band this year, musically, they're really in great shape. And we're very excited to have this trip opportunity."
 
The band was first recommended by then U.S. Sen. John Kerry and was invited to march in the 2011 parade after sending in video of the band marching in the Fall Foliage Festival Parade.
 
"Once we're invited, and they realized that we had a quality band program, now I have an open invitation," he said, adding that the students had chosen to go this year. "I plan to take the kids every three or four years because it's great to get them to the capital, and it's outside of school time."
 
The seniors on this trip were freshmen when they last marched in 2016. There are 12 seniors on the trip along with a handful of middle school students and seven chaperones. 
 
Caproni said the band parents were committed to ensuring every band student who wanted to go could. The cost is $800 per person and fundraising efforts aided in reducing that expense to families.  
 
"As we went through the fundraising this year, knowing we have families in need, the Drury band parents decided to give every student a $200 scholarship that was going on a trip," he said. "So that brought the student cost down to $600. So the band parents had fund raised $10,000 outside of general fundraising. Then upon looking at it further, we also gave an additional $100 to every senior ... then we also gave $100 if you are a sibling of a student on the trip ...
 
"I can tell you every student who was in the high school school band who were wanting to go on the trip is going."
 
Two weeks ago, parents and 22 students were able to raise $1,500 to make sure three students could go. 
 
Some students had prior commitments or didn't want to go and their spots were filled out with seventh- and eighth-graders who have been participating in band. 
 
In response to questions about behavior, Caproni said he keeps the kids busy — they're usually tired out and ready for bed by the end of the day. 
 
"We get them up early, and it's hot, so they're tired anyways," he laughed. "If you've been to Washington, there is a lot of walking, because bus parking is always an issue. So sometimes it's a one- or two-mile walk just to get to where you left the bus."
 
"I found that he runs a pretty tight ship," said Superintendent Barbara Malkas. "He's never lost anybody yet."
 
Some activities, such as a trip to the U.S. Capitol Building, hearing the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps and seeing the U.S. Constitution, will include the entire group while other activities will be split off under the chaperones. 
 
"A lot of times when we go to the museums, we're able to hit multiple museums and different kids can have different experiences of what they want to see," Caproni said. 
 
Mayor Thomas Bernard, chairman of the School Committee, said he'd gone as a chaperone on the last trip in 2016. 
 
"It is a remarkable experience. The students comport themselves incredibly well, because Mr. Caproni and the chaperones expect no less of them," he said. "So the quality of the the performance opportunity, the quality of the historic cultural immersion, and the ability to really have these students rise to the occasion is unlike anything you can imagine."
 

Tags: 4th of July,   high school band,   march,   parade,   Washington,   

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Swish, Lifting Standards Win Giorgi League Championships

By Rick DuteauiBerkshires.com Sports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The John Giorgi Summer Basketball Men’s League closed out its summer season in perfect dramatic fashion on Wednesday night, needing overtime to determine the victor in the A Division championship game played at Giorgi Court at Noel Field.
 
Lifting Standards pulled away with the overtime victory over Flynn & Dagnoli/Kingsbread by a final score of 56-53. Swish earned a 53-41 victory over Fortitude Strength and Conditioning in the B Division final, played earlier in the evening.
 
Keiland Cross sealed the win with a pair of free throws with just 12 seconds remaining to cap off a big night and a big summer season for the A Division MVP. Cross had all of his points in the second half and finished with a team-high 13 points and 11 rebounds.
 
Cam Stockton also had a big night with 11 points for Lifting Standards. Stockton helped to swing momentum after he drained a 3-pointer and, after Flynn & Dagnoli’s Lawrence Carrier answered back with a layup that tied things back up, Stockton went off glass for the bucket that put his team ahead for good.
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