DeKalb High School Band Students Head To Ireland For St. Patrick's Day Parade

Mar 12, 2017

Band students from DeKalb High School will make their way to the Emerald Isle Sunday. That’s because they will be one of several bands marching in the Dublin, Ireland Saint Patrick’s Day parade next week.

DeKalb High School band director Steve Lundin (left) directs the band through warm-up exercises before beginning parade rehearsal outside. More than 100 students and chaperones will make their way to Dublin, Ireland Sunday.
Credit Katie Finlon / WNIJ

DeKalb High School band students began their rehearsal outside. It was about 35 degrees, and they marched several times around the perimeter of the high school.

Band director Steve Lundin says it was to briefly remind them what weather conditions could be like for Friday’s parade before the band continued rehearsal indoors. While he says it may not have sunk in for some students yet, Lundin says those involved in trip logistics are starting to get excited – himself included.

“That might be the most exciting part for me, is knowing that I’m going to be a part of opening the world to some of these students and letting them see so much stuff that they never thought they would see,” Lundin says.

Planning for this trip began two years ago, and Lundin says that was mostly due to the cost of the trip – about a quarter of a million dollars for more than 100 traveling students and chaperones. Lundin says the band did not receive funding from the school due to its own financial constraints, so students had to pay their own way or fundraise.

Amy Clark is president of the DeKalb High School band parents’ organization.

“We created a series of fundraisers over the course of about 18 months,” Clark said. “It was everything from sales to special events, to work – sweat-equity type opportunities – and families were encouraged to pick and choose the things that worked best for them.”

That included work like cleaning up during DeKalb’s Corn Fest last August. Overall, students were able to raise about a third of the total cost of the trip.

Lundin says there will be a viewing party for family and friends of the band at DeKalb High School on Saint Patrick’s Day to watch the band perform. Streaming begins 7 a.m. Friday.