NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - A huge honor -- That's how the Marching Mustangs of Mitchell High feel about being invited to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade this April in Washington. D.C.
"I think it is a wonderful opportunity for us to represent ourselves and I know for the seniors it is a really great accomplishment because we get to show off on what we have been working on for so long," said Alexa Rosenberg, a color guard member.
"It an opportunity to be at a national level. They are going to be on television they are going to actually march in the city of Washington, DC," Tom Damoto said.
With more than 200 members, the band is one of the biggest in the state.
"It's one of the greatest activities you can get involved in on this campus. The family bond you find on this campus, you don't find anywhere else," band member Ryan Slaughter said.
The James Mitchell band is so popular that they are one of only 15 high school bands invited to the parade.
"Won state-level superior jazz band; also won the Otto J. Kraushaar Award, given to bands who get all superior rating for the entire year," Joel Quina, the director of the band, said.
And that's not all.
"We were actually the first Pasco County band to earn that award and we couldn't be more proud," he continued. "A lot of it has to do with the dedication of the students. We are always trying to instill that in them. That's kind of what makes the great programs happen."
It's a trip that's well-deserved for students who have worked so hard and accomplished so much.