Hoover High marching band to perform at namesake's birthplace
High school ensemble will visit Iowa for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.
The Hoover High School band showed off the new truck they have on Tuesday, May 31, 2011. A parent donated the truck and Lexus of Glendale paid for the paint job. (Raul Roa/Staff photographer / May 25, 2012)
Hoover High School student musicians have been invited to West Branch, Iowa — the birthplace of their school’s namesake — for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.
Scheduled for the first weekend in August, the visit will include a parade and a concert, said Michael Risner, president of the Hoover Tornado marching band booster club.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event for them,” Risner said.
The Iowa town has double significance. Located in a swath of the Midwest known as “tornado alley,” it also inspired the Glendale high school’s twister mascot.
One of just four campuses in the United States named after the 31st president, Glendale Unified’s Hoover High School was contacted in the fall about participating in the anniversary celebration, said Principal Jennifer Earl.
Concerned about travel costs, she and her colleagues initially rejected the invitation. But when library officials returned with a promise to provide lodging and meals, they began to research travel options.
“The Midwest in general is such a different place,” Earl said. “I would love for the students to see the landscape and meet the people. I want to give my students that opportunity, if possible.”
Now, approximately 55 marching band members and a half-dozen parents and staff members are planning an 86-hour round-trip by train. The instruments are to be driven across country in the program truck, Risner said.
Graduating seniors and incoming freshman are being invited to attend. Each participating student is being asked to contribute toward the cost of their individual ticket, leaving another $10,000 in fundraising for expenses, including gasoline for the truck, Risner said.
The trip will mark another milestone for a program that fell dormant for a decade before being resurrected in 2006. It is part of a larger campus effort, largely spearheaded by Earl, to build pride in the school’s history and culture.
“I think going there and participating in these events, seeing the library, seeing the materials, will really help them appreciate that their school is named after a real person,” Risner said.