MUSTANG, Okla. (KFOR) – The Mustang High School Marching Band is breathing a sigh of relief after a charter bus company backed out of their out-of-state trip.
The Mustang High School marching band has been working overtime for the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis.
“They come in at 6:50 a.m., and there are nights they have not come home until 10 p.m.,” said Tara Toombs.
But time was the band’s toughest opponent.
“It sure would’ve been nice to have more than 36 hours’ worth a notice,” said the school’s band director, Ryan Edgmon.
“To have this news dropped on them at the last minute has just been a serious blow,” said Naomi Miller.
The $200,000 trip was in jeopardy after a last-minute cancellation by the U.S. Coachways.
The school was scheduled to rent seven buses from the company. More than 250 band students are set to arrive at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Edgmon told KFOR they have to be on the field in Indy by Friday morning at 10 a.m. to have a shot in the national competition with the nation’s best high school bands.
“Our students put in hundreds of hours. Our parents put in hundreds of hours,” said Edgmon. “It’s a lot of volunteer time and fundraising to try to make this work.”
“Those kids are so well deserved in this, and they have earned the right to be at Grand Nationals,” said Toombs.
U.S. Coachways cited a shortage of drivers as the reason why they had to cancel. However, the band and its director remained optimistic.
“We’re not giving up until the final door is closed. Right now, there are too many things to chase,” said Edgmon.
Thanks to surrounding school districts donating their busses, the band now has a shot.
Mustang Pubic School stated the band would travel to Indianapolis using buses from Mid-Del Public Schools, Yukon Public Schools and buses from Mustang Public Schools.
MPS will supply the drivers for the trip, which may impact bus routes on Thursday and Friday. School officials are asking for patience and understanding from the community with any delays in regular bus service.
The bus caravan plans to leave Mustang High School Wednesday evening between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. and return on Sunday afternoon.