Students in the Laramie High School band are starting to put in more hours to prepare for upcoming events.

Over the next several weeks the band is scheduled to attend “Festival of Winds”, play at home sporting events and are beginning to practicing for a trip to New Orleans in April.

The band will attend most of the upcoming home basketball games to play pep and cheer on the team. At the boys’ varsity basketball game this Friday, the band will even be brought onto the court  to be recognized for their superior rating at state marching band in October.

Playing pep for the games includes playing well known songs throughout the game and playing the school song between quarters and whenever the team gets an important score.

Some of the members are also slated to attend the “Festival of Winds” this weekend. The festival includes seeing a concert and learning different playing techniques on their respective instruments. Any student who plays a wind instrument can attend the event.

A small number of the band is also taking a trip to New Orleans this Spring. They have been practicing every Thursday night to prepare music for the trip. The music they are playing includes marching band music, swing music from the 1940’s, and jazz music.

They will be performing at the World War II museum, and doing sight-seeing while in New Orleans, including Bourbon Street, the Hard Rock Café, a cruise and a bus tour of the city. They will also be attending Mardi Gras World, where all of the floats for the parade are made.

“New Orleans is the Capital of Jazz. It’s the home, and musically it makes a lot of sense for us to go there,” Sophomore Dane Oliver said.

Oliver is one of the students going on the trip, and he is also a member of the Jazz band. The jazz band will be playing their own pieces, in addition to joining the students from symphonic band on some of the music.

The jazz band is the top band in the school, and is auditioned and selected by Chris Olson, who also directs both symphonic and jazz band. Olson is the person who chose for the band to go to New Orleans, and she is accompanying the band there.

Choir, band and orchestra each take a trip every three years. The band has known that their trip will be to New Orleans for a little more than a year, though they haven’t known anything specific until recently.

Many of the students in band show a lot of passion for the music and the class.

“I love band,” senior Jade McCartor said, “It gives me a place to express my passion for music with people who also have a passion for it.”

Anyone who wishes to see the band perform can attend home basketball games up until state, or attend their next concert, which will be held in the upcoming months.