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Bainbridge High School Jazz Orchestra dazzles at governor's inauguration | SLIDESHOW

The Bainbridge High School Jazz Orchestra performed at the inauguration of Jay Inslee as Washington's 23rd governor.

The band, comprised of 33 students and led by BHS Band Director Chris Thomas, performed four songs following the swearing-in ceremony.

The students played “Roll on Columbia, Roll on” by Woody Guthrie and arranged by Don Neptun; “Imagine” by John Lennon and arranged by Neptun; “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen and arranged by Neptun; and “Basie Straight Ahead” composed and arranged by Sammy Nestico.

The capitol rotunda was filled with hundreds of invited guests, dignitaries, elected officials and Washington citizens for the ceremony.

Inslee’s inauguration was also packed with well-wishers from Bainbridge Island.

“We have supported him for a long, long time and have been so impressed with his integrity along the way. I think he’s going to make a great governor. I think he and Trudy are an outstanding team,” said Suellen Cunningham.

Howard Block attended with his wife Ce-Ann Parker.

Block said he met his first governor, Nelson Rockefeller, in an elevator when he was a teenager at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Block said he recognized Rockefeller right away, because he had also spoken at a Boy Scout exposition that Block attended.

“This is my second governor," he said of Inslee. "There’s been sort of a dry spell between them.”

The couple also attended the governor's inaugural ball, and Block said renting a tuxedo was a major ordeal.

"I may have to wear it to work tomorrow to get my money's worth," he quipped.

"Can you return a tux that has hay on it?" his wife asked.

Thomas, the BHS orchestra leader, said he was as thrilled as his students at the chance to perform at the big event.

The band got the gig after Thomas contacted the Inslee's office soon after Inslee won the governor's race on Election Day, and Thomas suggested that Inslee's high school band from home perform.

“It’s nerve-wracking. And exciting. And overwhelming,” Thomas said.

Maddie Bolejack, a saxophonist in Bainbridge High jazz band, said she didn't expect the band would be so close to Inslee — just a few steps away — as Washington's new governor took the oath of office.

“It’s just awesome. I’ve never had so many people watch me before,” Bolejack added.

Following the band's performance, the students watched Inslee's address in a legislative hearing chamber. They were also given a tour of the capitol before returning home.

 

 

 

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