A marching band from the small Maine town of Madawaska received some time in the national spotlight Thursday afternoon when it performed as part of the celebration leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee selected the Pride of Madawaska marching band to perform in a welcoming concert at the Lincoln Memorial the day before Trump takes the oath to become the 45th president of the United States.

The Pride of Madawaska was one of only 12 bands tapped to perform at the inauguration concert and the only band from Maine invited to participate in the inauguration celebration events this year.

Nearly 30 middle school and high school students, their director, Benjamin Meiklejohn, and other adult chaperones traveled by chartered bus to the event.

Meiklejohn said Thursday night that the trip to D.C. was the first for many of the Madawaska students, most of whom have been to Canada several times given their proximity to the international border.

A series of Facebook posts and videos, many of them on the Madawaska School Department’s page, shows that the group has been making the most out of its time in the nation’s capital.

Among the band’s activities were visits with U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and to the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., a group with ties to Maine and the capital that helped with the trip’s logistics.

Meiklejohn said that the students also visited the National Air and Space Museum, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Some students also visited the Vietnam and Korean war memorials.

As far as the performance, Meiklejohn said, “It was really easy because [the band] couldn’t see all these people” in the audience because of the buffer around the stage. That, he said, helped cut down on stage fright.

He said he was told a few days ago that as many as 150,000 spectators could be looking on, either from in front of the stage or on a jumbotron set up on the mall.

The Madawaska group got to take in the rest of the concert, which included performances by Lee Greenwood and Three Doors Down, among others, as well as remarks by the president-elect from the VIP seating section.

“It was a good show,” Meiklejohn said.

Adam Gendreau, a seventh-grade saxophone player, talked about performing at the event.

“It was nerve wracking at first, but it was over pretty fast,” said Gendreau.

Among the highlights for Gendreau was Thursday night’s concert and a stop in Connecticut, where he has spent a lot of time, on the way down to D.C.

The Pride of Madawaska has been the concert and marching band of the Madawaska Middle/High School since 1953. The band played Maine’s official march, “Dirigo March,” “Born Free” and “Main Street America” march, Collins and King said in a news release.

Thursday’s “Make America Great Again! Welcome Concert” kicked off three days of scheduled inaugural events.

The swearing-in ceremony will be held noon Friday on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. That ceremony will be followed by an inaugural parade and several inaugural balls. An interfaith prayer service will be held Saturday at Washington’s National Cathedral.

The school was notified before Christmas that the band had been selected, but the committee asked that the announcement not be made public until after the New Year.

Meiklejohn said earlier that he considers the selection of a band from the St. John Valley as representative of “small town America.”

“There are always lots of celebrities at these events,” Meiklejohn said. “But here we are — a small band from a small town in a small state.”

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is not providing funding for the selected bands, however, so in order to get band members, their equipment and adult chaperones there, the band and its supporters raised about $35,000 — no easy feat for a school department that is in the midst of a budget crisis.

Meiklejohn said Thursday night that any leftover funds will be used for uniforms.

The group will be leaving for Madawaska early Friday morning, he said, and are expected to arrive home sometime between 10 p.m. or midnight, or shortly thereafter.