Kevin Pollock, the band director for Franklin Regional High School, has amassed an enviable track record over three decades at the school. Mr. Pollock took his marching band to the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., twice. The 200-member band also marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2003 and 2009.
After marching in the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade, no one would have blamed the band for resting on its laurels, but that’s not how Mr. Pollock runs the program there. He recently told his young musicians that they have been chosen to represent Pennsylvania at the Inauguration Day parade on Jan. 20.
Considering the many great bands that vie for an invitation, Franklin Regional has plenty of reasons to celebrate. Performing at a presidential inauguration is a singular honor and opportunity that comes up only every four years.
But not every school sought the honor. In a break with custom, no public high school or university marching band in the nation’s capital applied to participate, a notable absence carrying more than a whiff of anti-Trump sentiment.
Franklin Regional will be playing an up-tempo patriotic song as it passes the reviewing stand where President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will stand. The band will witness one of the greatest feats of a modern democratic government — the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another.
Mr. Pollock and his band should be congratulated for being selected to perform at Mr. Trump’s inauguration. With 16-year-old Pine native Jackie Evancho scheduled to sing the national anthem, it will be a historic day for Pittsburgh-area performers.