WASHINGTON, DC -- Thomas Spera, former Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School student and the son of Scotch Plains Councilman Ted Spera, is marching in the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington today. Now attending The Citadel, Spera plays the Sousaphone and was a member of SPFHS marching band as a student at the high school.

"My wife and I are very proud of our son to be able to participate with his school in this historical event," said Councilman Spera, a Republican.

The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes, Color Guard and/or Summerall Guard have been selected to participate in seven inaugural parades. The Summerall Guard is a silent precision drill platoon that was formed at The Citadel 85 years ago. The platoon's purpose is to exemplify, through a unique series of movements based on the old close order drill, the exactness and thoroughness with which a cadet at The Citadel is trained.

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The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes is the only U.S. military college band to ever be invited to the exclusive Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and has been selected to participate as the one American military band in the globally known event three times: 2015, 2010, and 1991. About 100 cadets make up The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes.

With its iconic campus located in Charleston, South Carolina, The Citadel offers a classic military college education for young men and women profoundly focused on leadership excellence and academic distinction. Graduates are not required to serve in the military but about 30 percent of each class commission as officers in every branch of U.S. military. Founded in 1842, The Citadel has been named Best Public College in the South by U.S. News and World Report for six consecutive years.