Bastrop, LA —Drax Biomass, one of the largest employers in Morehouse Parish, has joined forces with other local businesses in Northeast Louisiana to support the West Monroe High School Marching Band’s participation in today’s Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington, DC. The West Monroe Rebel Band is the only organization from Louisiana to march in the Parade, and one of only seven high school bands from across the country to share in this honor.
“We in the West Monroe High School Band are so excited to represent Louisiana in the 58th Inaugural Parade,” said Band Director Robert Freeman. “We simply could not have done this without the support of Drax Biomass and others in the business community. Our students will be a part of history, will learn in a tangible way about our country and the process of inaugurating a new president, and will come back to Northeast Louisiana as better young men and women – and even better AMERICANS!”
The Rebel Band received its invitation on December 21, giving Freeman and his band only 22 days to prepare and raise the more than $200,000 needed to cover travel costs for all 203 members. Drax Biomass and other businesses across Northeast Louisiana rallied behind the Band, participating in auctions and other fundraising events to make the trip to Washington, DC possible. The West Monroe High School Band Boosters spearheaded the fundraising, with strong leadership from the Congressional and state legislative delegations. The band departed for Washington on Sunday.
“We’re tremendously proud of the Rebel Band and we’re honored to stand behind them as they represent Louisiana in today’s historic event,” said Pete Madden, President and Chief Executive Officer of Drax Biomass, which operates Morehouse BioEnergy in Bastrop. “This achievement also serves as a reminder of our community’s cultural richness and commitment to the arts, which make Northeast Louisiana a wonderful place to live and work.”
The West Monroe High School Rebel Band has played at a wide range of prestigious events around the country and overseas during its nearly 40-year history. In late 2013, for example, the band traveled to London to march in that city’s New Year’s Day parade, a trip that also featured a concert in Cadogan Hall – the same venue where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs. Several years earlier, the band marched in its first Inaugural Parade, representing Louisiana in the 55th Presidential Inaugural Parade for George W. Bush’s second term.
About Drax Biomass Inc.
Drax Biomass Inc., a subsidiary of UK-based Drax Group plc, is a manufacturer of compressed wood pellets produced from sustainably managed working forests. Headquartered in Atlanta, GA with operations across the Southeastern US, we employ innovative manufacturing techniques to produce high quality pellets that can be shipped safely and efficiently around the world for use as a renewable, low-carbon fuel. Our pellets allow electric utilities to reduce their dependence on coal, lower carbon emissions and provide new sources of safe, reliable and affordable power. Led by an experienced team of operations professionals, Drax Biomass is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate by promoting sustainable forestry and investing in local economic development.