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Austin All-Star Marching Band College Tour Begins Monday

The Austin All-Star Marching Band Caravan and University and College Tour will begin a nine-day tour of Southwest U.S. colleges and universities on Monday, June 20. More than 200 Central Texas Band and Fine Arts students will tour the University of Texas at El Paso, New Mexico State University, the University of California at Los Angeles, The University of Southern California, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and Arizona State University.

"Our goal is to expose students to educational opportunities, and to enable them to showcase their talents for scholarship consideration at the schools they will be visiting," tour organizer Larry Jackson said.

The tour will provide student performance opportunities, including at the Grand Canyon. Students also will attend concerts, and visit beaches, cultural institutions, and tourist attractions all along the six-state route. They will interact with college students, educators, and professional musicians, as well as with former Texans. For example, alumni of Austin's old Anderson High School will host a student event in Los Angeles.

Adult chaperones will be band parents and other volunteers. To keep the trip affordable, tour organizers arranged for students to stay in schools in the cities they are visiting. Students also held car washes to offset the cost of the trip, which is $250 per student, and includes all costs for transportation, food, and lodging.

(Students depart Austin at midnight Monday from Reagan High School, located at 7104 Berkman Drive. A day-by-day schedule is attached. More information about the Austin All-Star Marching Band Caravan and University and College Tour is available by calling 512-422-9964.)