The Fourth of July is next week and one Ocean County High School Marching Band is getting the opportunity of a lifetime.

The Jackson Liberty Lion Band is heading to Washington, D.C. to march in the National Independence Day Parade. Band Director Scott Katona says the 138 musicians have worked very hard to prepare and they take the responsibility very seriously. It's not often such an honor comes around and when they got the news, they were thrilled.

The parade is expected to bring out thousands of spectators, including several dignitaries from the nation's capital and President Barack Obama himself. Why is this so special?

Katona explains, "Only one band from each state is chosen for the parade. Out of the hundreds in the Garden State, it was the Jackson Liberty Lion Band who was picked. We submitted an application. While they didn't give specifics as to why they were chosen, it's probably because they are so talented. They've all worked very hard for this over the last few years and definitely deserve it."

Listen to a conversation with Scott Katona

Before the big day on July 4th, the band has been chosen to perform the song 76 Trombones from The Music Man. They will perform it during a show at the Arena Theater.

A "send off" ceremony for the band takes place tonight at the Jackson Liberty High School inside the auditorium at 7 p.m. Students are to report at 6:30. Friends, family and the public are all invited to take part. Jackson Mayor Mike Reina is expected to be in attendance while the band plays some of the patriotic themes they will be performing during the big event down Constitution Avenue.

Katona said at the ceremony, Mayor Reina will present the band with a proclamation and the township flag, Assemblyman Ronald Dancer will be presenting the members with a certificate and a letter from Governor Chris Christie will be read. Local organizations are also presenting the band with flags to utilize during the parade.

"It is a nice chance for the community to come out and show their support for our students as they get ready to play for thousands, including the President of the United States," Katona said. "They will represent New Jersey, and Jackson, proudly."

For more on the Jackson Liberty Lion Band, visit their official website.