January 11th, 2009
07:11 PM ET

A Band's Long March to D.C.

You hear stories all the time about how a great leader can turn a group around; I can't count the number of movies I've seen about coaches that took a group of players and formed up a great team.  Monday's story from Georgia's South Cobb High School is a nice variation of that theme:  a band director who drummed up attendance, enthusiasm and trophies, eventually leading his school's marching musicians to the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

It should be a great trip for them.  And whether your school's band has marched during halftime or inauguration time, you've got to give its members credit for working so hard.

Carl Azuz, Anchor

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Cindy

    I envy them. They are so lucky to be able to go there, with their skills and the money donations.

    January 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  2. Jamie

    its something to be admired at but the price tag is pricy but its a one in a life time chance so enjoy it while you can

    January 12, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  3. Devin

    I think that teh dude was strong enough in his heart to make a band team come from nothing now to playing for the president ..... that's sweet

    January 12, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  4. Devin

    I think that it is pretty cool that the dude was strong enough in his heart to make a band team come from nothing now to playing for the president ….. that’s sweet

    January 12, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  5. Alexander

    Nice job! I wish my school was that good! Congratulations, baldwin! Keep going.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  6. Brittney

    Wow marching for the President, that should be a life experience. They are lucky to have that opportunity. There coach or teacher must be proud that they have made it this far.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  7. Josh

    That would be a fun trip, going top Washington. And since they have turned around and became a good marching band. Thats a lot of money they had to raise just for a trip but they raised it so that shouldn't be a problem anymore. The trip sounds like fun, especially when you go all the way to the White House just because of an marching band, I give them a lot of credit, and good luck to them.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  8. crystal

    I think that it is really cool that this school got to do this, no other band has done this yet! I bet they feel proud they are the first to go play for the president.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  9. brittany

    I think that it was cool that people played for the president and I think it would of cost them a lot of money to do that..

    January 12, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  10. Brittany

    I like the fact that for once it isn't a sports team that is being helped. They worked really hard, and got trophies for there work. Then to be invited to play for the president. That would be like the best experience ever. I think that they are very lucky.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  11. Shaun

    u think that that is a neat idea to have a high school band play instead of a band full of old people

    January 12, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  12. LizzyAnn

    I am really happy for this school band. They are very lucky and derserve this for working so hard. I know this school will do good.

    January 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  13. Mr. Bruce

    Best story of the year! I am blown away at not only the progress of the marching band but the support of the school, community, and the nation. The students have achieved what most consider a dream. Congratulations on all past and future successes!

    January 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  14. roger

    I don't like Obama. So I think it is stupid, but it is a cool opportunity for kids. so I hope they do good.

    January 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  15. kristen

    I think thats cool they are going to play for prez Obama. Other people may not like it ,but who cares. It's cool.

    January 12, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  16. Gabriel

    Wow i really think that this is amazing. Its a once in a life time chance to do what they are going to get to do.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  17. Alan

    i have to say this was pretty cool and awsome, There lucky kids, and have a cool teacher, AWSOME.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  18. esteban

    this was an inderesting new reporte and i like the videos

    January 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  19. Oscar

    Thats great that people donated for other students to be in the band.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  20. Marco

    I think that the students that are getting trained by the teacher are lucky because he woked very hard on them and takes his time with them to make them a better band.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  21. Edgar

    well good luck

    January 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  22. wendy

    Very true, reminds me of the movie Remember the Titans. Might not have been band but it was football. Two coach formed a team of different race and made a huge difference in their lives. Started with nothing and made it to the end.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  23. jocelyn

    i agree this story sounds like they took it from a book or an old moviebut im glad for the kids who get to be part of that special day that will and they will be part of history.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  24. manuel

    This remindes me of the movie coach carter where the coach turns his players live around by making them work harder and how he used the best player that didnt do his work and he cyt him until he was willing to work harder

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  25. Araceli

    It is a wonderful thing for that band to get to play at the inaguration for Obama on January 20 in Washington D.C.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  26. Brenda

    I think this is a great opportunity for these students and that the teacher is a great person for doing this for his students. He should be a person who you should admire for all his work and making his students work in order to make a dream come true. I think he did a great job and the students too.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  27. Sergio

    I do the teacher did change a lot of the students in the band lives. They could have been in gangs or thought thier lives were hopeless but now that they have help with money they are going to be able to go and now i think they are very happy because they always tried there best and look where everything they did is taking them to!

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  28. Jesus

    I believe they really deserve, I mean they went from the being the underdog to the top of there class. I wish I could go see them in person.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  29. manuel

    This remindes me of the movie coach carter where the coach turns his players live around by making them work harder and how he used the best player that didnt do his work and he cut him until he was willing to work harder

    January 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  30. Guadalupe

    Congratiolations to all the vstudents in the marching band who are going to Washington D.C.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  31. Itzel

    I think the marching band is a great way for the students to express themselves. I think this because a lot of people like to play in a band and be proud of what they played. I think it is a great way for the teacher because he is working really hard for the students to achieve this to play for the president which can make the president happy.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  32. Tania

    if I was part of the band I would probably be so proud having to know that my band and I are so good at playing with instruments that we even get to play for the president.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  33. esteban

    i like the school band and like this news video

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  34. jose

    i belive this is a great job they done is very amazing what they accomplished with time they put in hard work i think they are awsome

    January 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  35. Julian

    I think it is really cool to do something like that for anyone, but for the president. That is a great accomplishment and I think they really deserve it.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  36. Josselyn

    i think this is a very touching story that gives everyone hope for the hardest moments in life when you think you will never go on.I hope that whenever i go to high school i get a band leader like him that will have hope in all of his students and makes our dreams come true.

    January 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  37. Jazmin

    I think that if the school band is able to play for the presedent its for a reason. so that menas that they are really good and thay earned that privalege. i also think that its great how they were able to raise all that money. I wish them the best of luck

    January 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  38. Michael

    its good to have goals. for that class to strive so high and go from nowere to the top of the list, it is an amazing feat. truly inspiring, thank you

    January 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  39. kelsey

    I think it's amazing what these band leaders are willing to for kids. i also think it's cool what the community would do for kids who don't have the money.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  40. Anthony

    I thought it was amazing that they raised that much money! I wonder what their gonna do with the other money! They could get a jacuzzi and tv on the bus. Even rent a private train with a jacuzzi!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  41. austin

    i wish that my school would've been able to go and play for president obama he rocks

    January 12, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  42. Libby

    I think it was awesome that he gave up his time to work with the kids, I'm sure he is a great influence and the kids are probably more focused on band instead of other, well, bad things.

    January 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  43. Kira

    I feel like they did a great thought about following this dream and should keep up the good work. Obama will BE PROUD!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  44. angie

    i thought bit was cool an dthier band teacher was very proud of them and i would be to and it was a happy moment

    January 12, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  45. Carlos

    That is awesome and the kids are lucky! This is a interesting idea.

    January 12, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  46. Sierra

    it think that its an awsome that all those students get to participate in the parade. To me its fair because the government isnt paying professionals to it.

    January 12, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  47. Nick

    Thats so cool! I bet it's so much fun to get to go all the way to president-elect Barrack Obama's inaguration. And playing for the future president of the United States, thats got to be scary! O.o

    January 12, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  48. Nick

    I think it's amazing how they were able to raise that huge of an ammount of money, and to think they had gone from only 30 members to playing for the president.

    January 12, 2009 at 8:39 pm |
  49. maryjane

    i think music is really important for teens, and if your school is good enough to play for the president, THATS GREAT!

    January 12, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  50. Stephanie

    I think this story about the marching band is very inspiring because it first of all is a ture story and to show that a small and bad marching bad that started at nothing, can now do anything without limits. It just takes a little leadership and guidance. I am looking forward to seeing them perform at the ingration.

    January 12, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  51. Michael

    I think that this is a very inspiring story. It shows just how far a good leader can take you, no matter what it is you do or how skilled you are. Coming from an already successful marching band, I’m not sure how it feels to start at the bottom and make it to the top but I know how it feels to be under a strong leader and it makes you want to keep working even after you’ve given 100%.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  52. jackie

    It is really cool how everyone got involved to help raise money. That show that the community really cares about the band. They also have a great band teacher that I think changed a lot of people’s lives. He is a great role model .

    January 13, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  53. Kayla

    The band director helped the students out so much by giving them a helping hand and letting them know that they can do anything they put their mind to. When you have no motivation it’s hard to do anything but having a good leader and being confident can help you in so many ways. People helped them from all over to raise money for all of the students to go to perform at the ingration for the President-elect Barrack Obama, which must be an amazing accomplishment for all the students. I wish them luck!

    January 13, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  54. Anonymous

    I think that it is really cool, that school is really lucky to be able to play for the president. A lot of schools dont get to do stuff like that.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  55. Krista

    The marching band is showing a lot of people stuff that everyone should know. Like the inspiring ways they do everything. I really liked them and enjoyed watching.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  56. christina

    I think that it`s a good thing that they are doing, Working there way to the top that is how it should be it is nice to see them do some thing that they always wanted to do and thanks to the denotions they can do it and not just any where in our states captial right where every body can see them and now they can set an example for every one else who thought that they could never do something like that comenig from a small town, but if they can do it so can you thats why I like them and they will go far.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  57. LeAndra

    Wow the kids marching for the president they are lucky to be able to do that. There coach or teacher must be proud that they have made it this far.

    January 13, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  58. Anonymous

    I think that what the community did is an awesome thing because i mean come on its the president of the U.S. and everyone would want to be able to stand by him and play for him and see what he thinks of them. But i think they should try to raise even more money to get a flight or something like that.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  59. Todd

    That story is very inspirational, being able to bounce back like that is simply awesome.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  60. U.C. ???

    i think thats really cool that a school band would do that

    January 13, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  61. Theresa

    I think that that is so cool! I come from a small school and I know how donations can help big time. I like it that the director said that this was a life experience instead of a band experience. You go Georgia’s South Cobb High School! I'll watch you on TV!

    January 13, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  62. alejandra

    I believe that this man's great belief in his team was what made it possible for them to get this far. If it wasn't for his inspiration and the band's hard work, then maybe they wouldn't have ever had this great acoomplishment. They should be very proud of their hard work.

    January 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  63. Alejandra

    In my opinion, IU believe that thee students should be very proud of all their hard work, as well as for their amazing teacher. I believe that they would never been able to go to the inaguration of elected president Barack Obama, if it wasn't for him. He lifted up the spirits of his band. They went from a bad review to this..... well I say good luck to them.

    January 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  64. Audrey

    I think that this story can inspire hope in people. A band that was never any good, was completely turned around and is now marching in the anuguration day parade.

    January 13, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  65. toshia

    i think that your dANCING WAS CRAZY

    January 13, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  66. toshia


    January 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  67. Ms.Martinez Class

    Wolf was struttin' it out!

    January 13, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  68. Raymond

    I think Azuz has more adrenaline than Blitzer.

    January 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  69. sarah

    i think you are the better dancer carl.

    January 13, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  70. nick

    carl, nice moves you are by far the best

    January 13, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  71. Kerstin

    It would be great to see them preforming at the white house.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  72. Anna

    That i so cool that the was able to still go to D.C. I am very proud of their community for helping them out!

    January 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  73. miranda

    carl has awesome moves

    January 14, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  74. ruben

    I think that the the band going to dc is realy cool and that they should go to more places.

    January 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  75. julian

    webb band rocks

    January 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  76. JOEY

    I think that they should not play for Obama I think that Obama should choose the band himself.

    January 15, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  77. yoceline

    well first of all I would congratulate them and good luck and I hope they get to go to other cool places.

    January 15, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  78. Griffin

    What a difference! It's so amazing how one person can change the skills and abilities of an entire group of people. I'm sure South Cobb High has developed an incredible band to be able to perform at the inauguration. It looks like all of their hard work has finally paid off.

    January 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  79. Raymecia


    January 27, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  80. David

    I regret leaving band for this reason. Back in middle school I was second chair alto sax and I quit soon as I got to South Cobb. So you see never give up on anything in life because you won't know the opportunities that you will miss out on.

    On the other hand CONGRATS to our South Cobb band for making it.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  81. Tierra

    I am so happy for South Cobb. I was at home watching the inauguration. I did not come to school that day. I was very happy to watch Obama and Michelle and the girls. It was so emotional. I love them two people. They is like an inspiration to me. And way to go South Cobb YAY!!!!! Im so proud of my school band making it to Washington D.C.

    January 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |