East band to travel to Normandy in 2020

East band to travel to Normandy in 2020
Posted on 09/10/2019
The Appleton East High School band is proud to announce that they have been chosen to be the official musical ensemble of the 2020 D-Day events and an official representative of The United States in Normandy, France in June of 2020.

The East Band was chosen for their reputation, professionalism, dedication to our veterans by Historic Programs, a not-for-profit organization committed to remembering people, places, and events that have shaped the world, and the D-Day Commemoration Committee.

The D-Day Memorial Parade will step off on Saturday, June 6th, 2020, D-Day in the French village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first village to be liberated by American troops. The parade will feature active and retired military personnel, music ensembles, cultural and civic groups .

In addition to the parade, Historic Programs will present two official public ceremonies, which will take place at the St. James American Cemetery on June 5 th , and at the Normandy American Cemetery on June 7th.

The East Band will likely perform all official ceremonial music at both ceremonies and will perform in a combined performance to memorialize all those who were laid to rest on the beaches of Normandy.

Kelley DeWitt is bringing her two sons, both Appleton East students, on this trip.

“I'm sure being there at the cemeteries, on the beach and marching through the first liberated city with crowds cheering will be incredibly emotional,” she says. “The reality of the history, the pride in our community and country, and their personal efforts to get there will stay with them forever.”

DeWitt continues, “today our children really don't have any clue what a war like this was like to live through and fight in. Having them physically see the places that they have only learned about will give them a new appreciation for what our service men and women fight for still today.”

How You Can Help

Appleton East is hoping to send two-hundred high school band students to this historic event. We are currently seeking sponsors and donations to help cover the significant cost of instrument transportation and student costs. Over the next nine months please help us to support this trip by donating directly to Appleton East’s activity fund and by participating in our fundraising endeavors. Want to volunteer at our fundraisers?

If you’d like to donate directly, please send a check made out to Appleton East to 2121 E. Emmers Dr. Appleton, WI 54915. Please add “Normandy” in the memo line to ensure the funds are properly distributed. If your company or organization would like to help with a sponsorship, please reach out to Ann Johnson at johnsonann@aasd.k12.wi.us or 920-470-9697

The Appleton East Band is proud to represent Appleton, Wisconsin, and the United States in these ceremonies that will provide a meaningful tribute to our veterans and armed forces.