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Virginia Tech students take advantage of band trip diversion

April 20, 2007|by JANET HEIM

BOONSBORO - For two local Virginia Tech students, the Boonsboro High School band trip to Florida this week couldn't have come at a better time.

Suzanne Boyenton of Keedysville, a first-year graduate student in secondary science education, signed up to be a chaperone for the trip knowing she would have to miss a couple of days of classes.

The trip to Universal Orlando was scheduled for April 18 to 22, with the band traveling by charter bus.

She has worked with the marching band as their woodwind tech; her brother is a senior in the band. Going on the trip meant she had to leave Blacksburg, Va., Monday night, the day of the fatal shootings on campus.

Boyenton, 23, said that while she wished she could have participated in the candlelight vigil on campus that night, heading home was the best thing she could do for herself.

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Brian Poole, a freshman engineering student, graduated from Boonsboro High last year and was in the band all four years of high school. The Boonsboro resident lived on the third floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall, one floor above where the first two shootings took place.

Poole, 18, said he didn't hear any shots in his dorm, but when he woke up Monday morning, there were many police cars around the dorm. He said there was no indication why the police were there, so he headed to class and came back, still with no information about what was going on.

Classes at Virginia Tech are canceled until April 23, so Poole headed home Tuesday night "just to get away". When one of the chaperones canceled because her daughter was sick, that opened a seat on the bus for Poole.

"It's a good distraction," Boyenton said of the trip.

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