Lakewood Ranch High Marching Mustangs honor seniors and welcome incoming freshmen.
Lana DiBiase, a junior at Lakewood Ranch High School, stood on a podium and led the 2021-2022 Marching Mustangs in its first live performance of the school year during the band picnic April 24.
The performance was an opportunity for DiBiase to see what it will be like next year when she's a senior and a drum major.
"It was a lot of fun," DiBiase said. "It was interesting to hear it from a different perspective from up there on the podium."
After the performance, band members joined their families and band alumni in the stands for lunch before the band honored this year's seniors with a surprise tribute video and gave them yard signs and awards.
Ron Lambert, the band's director, said saying goodbye to the seniors is always the toughest.
"It's been 17 years [as director at Lakewood Ranch High], and it doesn't get any easier," Lambert said.
Family members of seniors were excited to see their students honored.
"It's been an amazing four years for us," said Jason Miller, father of senior Hannah Miller. "We've watched how [Hannah] and her friends have grown over four years as musicians and leaders, and it's a great testament to the program."