One time at band camp…they sent some LBGT Portlanders to Obama’s inauguration!

Local marching bands seem to be taking center stage at President-elect Obama’s upcoming inauguration Jan. 20. Not only will locals Get a Life Marching Band be strutting their stuff, but so will eight musicians from Portland’s Rose City Gay Freedom Band.

Our hometown heroes will be part of a 177-member band culled from the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA), an organization composed of marching and concert bands from across the U.S. and the world.

From the RCGFB:

This is the first time in history that a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group will march in a Presidential Inaugural Parade. LGBA also participated in President Clinton’s inauguration festivities in 1993 and 1997, but performed on the sidelines and was not a contingent in the parade.

The Rose City Gay Freedom Band was formed in 1990 and consists of the Portland Gay Symphonic Band, Rose City Swing and Rose City Gay Freedom Band’s Marching Band. RCGFB has approximately 50 members who heard about the selection and eagerly awaited registration to join the massed group. With 34 bands, the number of potential musicians was high and competition for the first-come, first-serve spots was fierce. Eight members of RCGFB got lucky. They will be playing in the piccolo, clarinet, french horn, trumpet, trombone and percussion sections. Additionally, Rice Majors, a former conductor of the band was selected to be the Artistic Director for the LGBA band.

As part of both a celebration of the parade and to raise funds for the trip, the lucky eight will be performing tonight at Starky’s gay-owned restaurant (2913 SE Stark St.) at 7 p.m.

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