2013-02-08 / Front Page

Students take capital by storm

By Jack Flagler
Staff Writer


South Portland High School junior Calvin Stanly, left, returned from Washington, D.C., last month, and senior Jackson Beck is planning a trip to the capital next month. Stanly, a tuba player, performed with the Boston Crusaders, a drum and bugle corps based in Massachusetts, in the Inaugural parade. Beck is one of two Mainers in the U.S. Youth Senate Program. (Jack Flagler photo) South Portland High School junior Calvin Stanly, left, returned from Washington, D.C., last month, and senior Jackson Beck is planning a trip to the capital next month. Stanly, a tuba player, performed with the Boston Crusaders, a drum and bugle corps based in Massachusetts, in the Inaugural parade. Beck is one of two Mainers in the U.S. Youth Senate Program. (Jack Flagler photo) SOUTH PORTLAND – Organizers with the Boston Crusaders, a drum and bugle corps that attracts student musicians from around the country, told South Portland High School junior tuba player Calvin Stanly and his bandmates to focus on their performance when they played in the 2013 Inaugural parade in Washington, D.C.,

However, when the band finished its march on Jan. 21 from the Capitol that ended with a performance outside the White House, Stanly had a moment to look around at the bright lights, cheering crowds and sky cameras. He was also able to get a pretty good look at President Barack Obama, who, having finished his second address, stood 20 or 30 feet away from the tuba player.

“He didn’t seem real, he seemed like a wax model,” Stanly said.

For now, South Portland senior Jackson Beck has to take Stanly’s word for it, but next month, Beck may have a chance to see the president for himself.

Beck, 17, is one of two state delegates representing Maine in the United States Senate Youth Program in 2013, along with Thomas Poblador of Noble High School in North Berwick. Beck will travel to the capital along with 103 other student delegates, two from each state, Washington, D.C., and the Department of Defense Education Activity, a federal education program for children whose parents are stationed overseas.

The agenda for the weeklong program, which takes place from Sunday, March 9 to Sunday, March 16, is still not final, Beck said, but in past years, the president has made a brief speech to the delegates.

“I don’t think you can ever really know if that’s going to happen because he has such a busy schedule,” Beck said, adding he has his “fingers crossed” for an appearance from Obama.

Through the course of the week, the student delegates will also have a chance to speak to their U.S. senators in a reception in the Russell Senate Office Building, and meet with a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year, participants traveled to CIA headquarters, the Pentagon and the White House. The program, which is funded by the Hearst Foundation, also includes a $5,000 college scholarship.

Although much of Stanly’s time inWashington was spent preparing for the performance with the rest of the Boston Crusaders, he was able to see a few of the sites the nation’s capital had to offer. The trip was the first for Stanly, 16, since his class visited in eighth grade. Although the evening was cold, Stanly had to carry a 38-pound tuba, and the parade was delayed for two hours, Stanly said he will have a positive lasting memory of the performance.

“Going through the parade and going through the city, there was a bunch of people cheering – that was really cool. Then all of a sudden I see this street. It’s filled with lights everywhere. There were cameras up in the sky, it was crazy, everywhere I looked,” Stanly said.

“That motivated me not to drop my tuba,” he joked.

Beck serves as one of two student representatives on the South Portland school board and competes with the swim team. He will attend Yale University in the fall, where he plans to study political science. Stanly has one more year at South Portland High School, where he plays in the jazz band and the South Portland High School Marching Band.

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