•August 26, 2015•
By Mike Brothers
Summer camp changed Ben Berner’s life and Sullivan High School’s history at the same time.
The B-flat clarinet player from the Sullivan High School band will march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with the Great American Honor Band.
Ben attended summer band camp at Eastern Illinois University where Camp Director Barry Houser encouraged him to apply for the Honor Band.
“It was a pleasant surprise,” Berner said of his acceptance. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to go as the first kid from Sullivan.”
Clarinets are in the Berner family with Ben’s mother Samantha playing in high school. She plans to attend while dad Mike will hold down the fort in Sullivan with the rest of the family watching the parade on television.
“This is cool! “ Samantha said, noting this was the 10th annual Honor Band performance at the Thanksgiving Day parade. She will fly out later in the week to join Ben and take a place on the main stage to watch the parade.
“Ben will be a busy guy,” said Sullivan band director Brock Freece, “He will have to prepare for the Thanksgiving parade in addition to performing in all our competitions and games this season.”
Freece attended the Eastern band camp as a youth. He has been a resource to help find ways to help with expenses for Ben’s trip as he will have to take care of transportation costs. Read More