Jackson Lions Get A Rousing Send-Off

Jackson Liberty High School band director Scott Katona conducts the award-winning band during its send-off ceremony on May 26 at the high school. The band will be performing at the 2017 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C., as the official representative from the state of New Jersey. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

JACKSON – Well-wishers filled Jackson Liberty’s auditorium Friday night to show support for the Lion Band’s Memorial Day weekend visit to the nation’s capital.

Chandler Purry, flutist, spoke on the importance of music at the send-off ceremony for the Jackson Liberty High School Lion Band. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

The band will be representing the New Jersey in the 2017 National Memorial Day Parade down Constitution Avenue.

This is the second time in the school’s and band’s 10-year history that the Lion Band will play on the national stage. It was part of the National Independence Day Parade, also in Washington, D.C., back in 2012.

During the hour-long send-off on May 26, the Lion Band played patriotic standards in between praise from school district officials and proclamations from local, county, state and federal officials.

JLHS band director Scott Katona told The Jackson Times that much hard work and hours go into preparing for not only the band’s competitions – many of which it has won – but parades such as the Memorial Day Parade, now in its 13th year.

The Jackson Liberty High School Lion Band played a selection of patriotic standards during its send-off ceremony at the high school. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock)

Students, staff and chaperones will head down to Washington, D.C. Saturday to play tourist before performing in Monday’s parade, which starts at 2 p.m.

Read more coverage of the Jackson Liberty High School Lion Band’s performance in the National Memorial Day Parade, and its send-off ceremony, in the June 3 edition of The Jackson Times.

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Ocean County native Jennifer Peacock is a community journalist and photographer. She’s written for weekly and daily newspapers in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia for more than 20 years. Readers can contact her at [email protected]