Whitehall-Yearling High School's Rams marching band is getting revved up for a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

The band has been invited to perform May 25 in the 63rd annual IPL 500 Festival Parade, which precedes the Indianapolis 500 on May 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The IPL 500 Festival Parade, so named for its sponsor, Indianapolis Power and Light, is held on the streets of downtown Indianapolis.

"I'd say this is the biggest performance we've had in a decade," said Rams marching band director Kelley Gilbert.

She said it likely will be the Rams' first out-of-state performance because the marching band played at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, about 10 years ago.

Whitehall-Yearling's marching band is one of 14 bands in the United States that were selected to perform in the annual parade, according to district officials.

The parade runs along a 2-mile route in downtown Indianapolis the day before the race, one of the three legs of the Triple Crown of Motorsport.

An estimated 300,000 spectators line the route of the parade, which will air nationally on the NBC Sports Network and locally in Indianapolis.

The band lineup includes many Indiana high schools, plus one from Pennsylvania and another from Mississippi, as well as bands from Purdue University and the Indiana National Guard, according to a press release.

The Rams have known of the selection for several months, Gilbert said, but were prohibited to publicly speak about it until an official press release from the IPL 500 Parade Festival announced the lineup.

A video of the band's performances was sent to the selection committee as part of the application process, and an e-mail confirmed the band had been chosen, Gilbert said.

The Rams selected three pieces specifically for the Indianapolis performance.

They were the Rams' fight song; "This is My Country"; and the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun."

The latter was selected for its lyrics, "She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race," referring to the song's protagonist, who has "fun, fun, fun" till her daddy takes the T-bird away.

The band will hold additional rehearsals in preparation for the performance, Gilbert said.

Among those performing is Whitehall-Yearling senior Jason Kefauver, who plays trumpet in the marching band.

"We are all excited to go," Kefauver said.

"I'm really excited to go and it will the last thing I do (in marching band) before our graduation (May 29)."

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo