Emily Vandiver, a senior member of the Colbert County High School Band, loves the fun of playing.
“I’ve done a lot of honor bands, some with Auburn, some with Alabama, some with UAB, all the colleges here,” she said.
Tuesday’s performance in Hawaii in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade will be the chance of a lifetime.
It comes after more than a year of missed opportunities due to Covid-19.
“A lot of my band stuff got messed up, no honor band, no trip, nothing, so this is my first trip and probably my biggest opportunity I’ve had in years. And that’s my senior year so it means a lot to me to have something so big in senior year,” she said.
For Emily, this trip has an even deeper meaning.
“My dad served in the Marines,” she said,
“All my life I’ve been around it, he talks about it, he plays music and he’s still in a way, I wouldn’t say pushed on me, but really I was raised to really l ‘enjoy, so mostly play like the patriotic songs (and) the various branches of the military, especially The Marine’s Hymn. (I) really try my best to do good on those.
Emily tells me her heart swells with pride when they play The Marine’s Hymn.
“When we play The Marine’s Hymn, he’s in my head,” she said of her father.
Emily hopes to continue her music career and walk through college, keeping an eye on Auburn University.
Marie Waxel and Alex Torres-Perez of WAAY 31 are part of the Colbert County High School Band in Hawaii. Watch them this week on WAAY 31 News, at WAAYTV.com, and on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
See our coverage on our special Pearl Harbor page HERE