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Music Celebrations International has invited the Santa Maria High School Saints Band to represent California in the 2018 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on July 4.

The Santa Maria High School Saints Band will be featured alongside bands and other parade performers selected to march in this historic tribute to America’s past and present. After the day’s festivities, the event will conclude with a fireworks celebration featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and other performers on the west lawn of the Capitol Building.

Band Director Samantha Quart was informed of this selection based upon a nomination from Mayor Alice Patino.

In order to attend this event, the students must raise $90,000 which includes airfare, hotel accommodations, busing, tour management, meals, and insurance fees. The band will be doing many different kinds of fundraisers including the Applebee’s Breakfast fundraiser, concert ticket sales, t-shirt sales and business sponsorships.

The band is comprised of a little more than 50 of students. This group participates in parades such as the Orcutt Christmas Parade, Parade of Lights, and the Elks Rodeo Parade. They have won the Elks Rodeo Parade’s 1st place Award for the past six years, as well as Best Musical Group. During the school year, the band also supports school sports as a pep band for football, basketball, and soccer.

These students are both honored and excited at the opportunity to represent not only Santa Maria High School and the City of Santa Maria, but California as well.

Quart feels that this experience will be both “educational and fun” for the students.

This will be a bigger experience for students like junior Ana Garcia De Leon who have not even traveled out of the state, although she is excited because she “always loves traveling with the band”. Ana sees band as a way to express her musical talents while finding new passion for music.

Junior Isaiah Estrada sees this cross-country trip as “an opportunity to go see and explore the country’s capital”. Isaiah also thinks this opportunity will give the band “publicity, especially in our hometown state where we will be recognized for participating in a major event”.

Other students, like senior Julissa Olivas, believes it will allow the band “to be taken more seriously”. Julissa finds that band has helped her to be “more independent and helped [her] self-confidence grow”.

Senior drum major Lesley Aguilar Salceda thinks this trip as an “experience that will allow the band members to grow as musicians as well as a family”. Lesley also sees this as an opportunity to “showcase our talent and musical ability to a larger audience and people outside of our community”.

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.