If you plan to watch Monday's inauguration as President Barack Obama begins a second term in the White House, keep an eye out for Sarah Gamblin-Luig, who grew up in Mehlville.
Gamblin-Luig will be performing in the parade as part of the national Lesbian and Gay Band Association, the first LGBT association to ever participate in a presidential inauguration. She'll be playing the trumpet in this history-making group.
Follow her updates from the front lines of the Inauguration by reading her blog posts. Or, "like" us on Facebook to hear when she's written a new post. Gamblin-Luig is already lamenting packing warm clothes and her trumpet in her first blog post.
Gamblin-Luig grew up in Mehlville and now works in the city of St. Louis' Emergency Management Agency. Patch asked her 6 questions about the upcoming trip and what being there means to her in this email interview:
Tell us about your Mehlville roots and what you do now?
I lived in Mehlville from the time I was 4 years old until I turned 21. I attended Bernard Elementary School and started band in 5th grade, the first year they started offering it. I played the clarinet, which I absolutely hated, but continued with until my sophomore year when I taught myself to play the trumpet.
Throughout my high school years, at Mehlville, I played just about any instrument I could get my hands on and played in every band they had at the school. I always came back to the trumpet and that is what I play today and what I will be playing in the Inaugural Parade. I had a bit of a slow start my freshman year in high school, but through the careful guide of then band director, Don Kinnison, I stayed with music then and continue to now.
During the day, I work for the City of St. Louis Emergency Management agency teaching disaster preparedness, planning for disasters and identifying and mitigating hazards. I currently play with BandTogether, St. Louis' LGBT Band and when I can, I perform with the Lesbian & Gay Band Association (LGBA) Band. I live in the City with my wife Marcy and a pair of cats and dogs.
How did you get involved with the Lesbian and Gay Band Association?
The year that I joined BandTogether, the band was hosting the annual LGBA Conference here in St. Louis. It was LGBA's 25th Anniversary and they staged a large scale concert at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. We fit about 250 musicians on the stage for that concert, which was my first with either group. Needless to say it was quite memorable and from there on out, I was hooked.
How did the organization decide who will get to march in the parade?
The organization opened the registration and sent out some directives as to what to expect with the process and the associated costs. Besides that, as long as you are comfortable with your abilities with your instrument and performing for such a large crowd, in potentially freezing weather conditions, you are in. Well, after you pass the Secret Service background screening anyway.
What do you think about your playlist for the parade?
I'm sure everyone would come up with a different playlist, but I am happy with what has been selected for the group. It is a pretty wide selection so I am sure everyone will have a favorite. And now I can say I have played a song by Pitbull.
What are you looking forward to most about the trip?
I am looking forward to just being there and experiencing as much as I possibly can. There is going to be so much going on and so many people there, I am sure to be overwhelmed, but I am planning on it. It will be great to be a part of that history and I am sure I will have lots of stories to tell for a long time.
Are you any less excited about this event, considering that the inauguration has been scaled back a little?
Not really. When you consider what the setting is like on an average day and the history that surrounds you with monuments, and all of the decisions and actions that have come out of that small geographic area, I think it would be pretty hard to really scale it back.
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