Help Seabreeze cross the pond.
Since being invited to perform in London's 2019 New Year's Day Parade, the Seabreeze High School band has been hard at work raising the money needed for the trip across the pond.
The trip costs $3,175 per student, and band director Jarrod Koskoski estimates they'll be taking about 140 students, coming it at just under $450,000. It's a high cost, but he and fundraising chairperson Kellie Cofer want to ensure they leave no student behind.
“There’s a number of students that say ‘I really want to go, but I can’t afford it,’ and if I have the ability to give them the ability to go by making it either more affordable or making it free in some kind of way, then that’s going to give them the opportunity to have the same experience that the other students who can afford it," Koskoski said.
Seabreeze High School got invited after being nominated by Winter Springs High School a few years ago, said Koskoski. He received a letter in the mail inviting the school's marching band to be one of 20 bands to perform in the parade and after a couple phone calls, had the invitation extended to the school's symphony orchestra to perform at Cadogan Hall, home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
The trip will also enable his students to learn about another culture and become ambassadors of their country and school as the parade is watched by over 300 million people worldwide, Koskoski said. If the students were to walk away from the trip with just one lesson, he hopes it'll be how music is the universal language to bridge all differences.
“If I can get them to understand that’s one way that they can find peace and happiness globally, this is the start of that, then I can die a happy man," Koskoski said.
Cofer added that they're not expecting the community to fund their entire trip. The students are volunteering and fundraising, but they are hoping the community will help reduce the cost.
“We’re reaching out to every opportunity that we have so that these kids and the parents, they can all fundraise and help cover their costs," Cofer said.
Two upcoming fundraisers are Sup With Your Pup, a stand-up paddleboarding event at Fortunato Park on April 28, and a live music festival at the Destination Daytona Pavilion on May 19. Waste Pro, USA will be a presenting sponsor at the music festival.
The last two payments, which are the most costly, are the ones Cofer and Koskoski hope to reduce. Students need to pay $1000 by August and come up with the rest of the money by November. Koskoski and Cofer are reaching out to Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach and Holly Hill to help their students represent Seabreeze in England.
“I want those communities to kind of feel like this is their band," Koskoski said. "This is their investment. This is an opportunity to send members of their own community overseas for a once-in-a-lifetime event.”