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Mercer Island's Band / Banda Escolar de Guayanilla's Partnership Story
The Mercer Island Band Program is proudly non-competitive and strives for excellence resulting in international awards and performance opportunities. Close to 300 strong, one-in-four high school students and over 700 students district-wide participate in the grade 5-12 band program. Students enrolled in the Marching Band perform challenging literature that inspires and motivates both our sports teams and audiences alike. The high school program has a strong student leadership component and it is this leadership team that has driven the MIHS/Banda Escolar de Guayanilla partnership.
This partnership started as a fundraising effort to support BEG’s participation in the 2019 Rose Parade. Not only was this a very successful effort, but the culminating Band Fest and Rose Parade performances, student-to-student relationships and sharing of culture and musical programming spurred both MI and BEG to take their partnership into future years. The partnership will focus on sharing of all aspects of each program and exposing MI and BEG musicians to the various ways a world-class program can be developed. Funds raised for this partnership will be spent on benefiting both MI and BEG students.
Banda Escolar de Guayanilla is a band from the southern coast of Puerto Rico. In September of 2017, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico and caused nearly $100 billion in damage. Despite the hardships caused by Hurricane Maria, BEG continued to be a symbol of community pride and work ethic. The students and directors persevered over the next year and, with the support of many, they were able to fulfill their commitment and dream of playing in the 2019 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA. BEG returned from this performance stronger than ever and they are determined to continue to grow their program, their music education and their commitment to their community. It is a pleasure and an honor for Mercer Island High School to be working with BEG in a partnership benefiting both music programs.