The following appeared in The Republican-American - https://www.rep-am.com/
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WOODBURY – The Nonnewaug High School band and choir have been selected to perform on board the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier in New York City for national Memorial Day ceremonies, an opportunity that many students will always remember, school officials said.
First-year band Director Jason Bouchard announced the news this week, calling the rare opportunity a big deal and something the group will remember for a lifetime.
“Being able to perform on board the Intrepid is a big deal and it’s a testament to all the hard work these kids have put in,” Bouchard said.
The trip to New York City had been planned for quite some time, but Bouchard said he kept the fact that he had applied for the chance to play on board the ship under wraps, just in case his application was denied.
Once it was accepted, he announced the news to students.
“They knew they were going to New York City and that they were going to perform somewhere, but when I applied for the chance to perform on board I was simply shooting for the stars because I had faith in our kids,” said Bouchard, who explained that a video he submitted of the band was well received by Intrepid judges who said they found the group to be both professional and fun.
In addition to performing on board the Intrepid, which now serves as the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, the group will also tour the city and head to Broadway to see “Phantom of the Opera.”
Region 14 Superintendent Joseph Olzacki called it an “extremely proud” moment for the music program.
Also this month, the Nonnewaug music program was awarded a $25,000 grant from the town of Woodbury to help upgrade its equipment.
At this week’s concert, Nonnewaug’s Tri-M Music Honor Society collected 40 donated toys which will be delivered to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The drive was held in honor of Nonnewaug alum John Sales, who is currently being treated at the center in Hartford. Sales, 26, was first diagnosed with leukemia at age 13 and recently discovered that it had returned.