On Saturday, the Brighton High School Marching Band will be performing at Ford Field in Detroit during halftime of the Division I state finals between the Brighton Bulldogs and Davison Cardinals.

According to BHS Marching Band Director Gabrielle Hoffman, he band turned down a chance to play in the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade this year after playing in that parade last year, and it’s probably a good thing they did, because it means the musicians will be fresh for Saturday's event at Ford Field. As evidence of the Brighton High School Marching Band’s national reputation, the group of around 240 members has been invited to be part of ceremonies at Pearl Harbor in December of next year, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Hoffman says it will cost each member about $2,500 to make the journey.

The young musicians have already been involved in fund-raising activities in preparation for the big event. An estimated $12,000 was raised at a golf outing this past summer, and band members have been engaged in other fund-raising activities. The band will give the Brighton Bulldog football team a big sendoff this Saturday morning by playing the school fight song at 9:30 a.m. before they depart for Detroit, and the band will leave for Ford Field about an hour later.

The big game starts at 1 p.m., and tickets will be on sale at the gate for those who were unable to obtain them in advance at the high school. One note of caution: tickets purchased at Ford Field are required to be cash only transactions.

Meanwhile, the heralded Brighton High School Marching Band program has spawned four drum majors for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The latest is BHS senior Valerie Minnick, one of three drum majors who performed in the “America’s Best Bands” feature today at the parade in New York. According to Hoffman, past drum majors from Brighton have included Erin Raby, who was a drum major in last year’s Macy’s parade, and in years prior to that, Jack Newcomb and Matt St. Germain. Yet another former BHS Marching Band drum major, Brendan Schultz, is now a drum major at Purdue University. (TT)