2 Hawaii bands to represent president's home state at inauguration

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Jan 16 2013 08:55:00 PM HST

Kamehameha Schools' marching band prepares for the Inaugural Parade.

Honolulu -

Two marching bands from Hawaii schools will represent the president's home state Monday at the 57th Inaugural Parade for Barack Obama.

The temperature in Washington, D.C., is expected to be in the 30s for the event. Forecasters say there is also a chance of snow.

The Kamehameha Schools "Warrior" Marching Band and Color Guard held a final run-through on their home turf Wednesday evening. Despite the recent chill in the air, many male members of the band took off their shirts.

"They always take off their shirts during practice because, it's a guy thing I guess. It's also a good way to train for the snow and cold I guess," said Ashley McKenzie, the band's drum major.

The temperature for practice at the Kapalama campus was around 70 degrees, twice as warm as what the marching musicians may have to perform in at the nation's capitol.

A clarinet player in the band, Noah Tsuji said, "I myself haven't been in anything less than how cold it gets here so, I have no idea what it's going to be like up there."

"It is a matter of preparing endurance. We've been doing two miles, three miles at each practice," according to the school's longtime band director, John Riggle.

Riggle led the Kamehameha band in President Bill Clinton's inaugural parade in 1993. He says he was motivated to apply for a spot this year to celebrate Senator Dan Akaka's retirement and the school's 125th anniversary.

Kamehameha is not the only pick from Hawaii this year. Punahou School, President Obama's alma mater, has been invited for a second time to perform his inauguration.

Riggle said, "As far as i know, it's never happened before. So having two bands from one state is unusual."

On Friday, some 100 or so members of the Kamehameha band will join about 150 student musicians from Punahou in a frigid Washington, D.C.

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