HAZLE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Northeastern Pennsylvania was well represented at the Governor’s Inauguration on Tuesday. The Hazleton Area Marching Cougars performed at Governor Josh Shapiro’s Inauguration Ceremony in Harrisburg.

Patriotic music could be heard at Governor Josh Shapiro’s inauguration Tuesday at the State Capitol.

It was performed by students in the award-winning Hazleton Area High School Band who were invited to take part.

“It was an amazing experience all around. We got contacted at the end of December, we had two weeks to put the music together, and the students did an outstanding job. They had an amazing performance today and I’m so proud of all of them,” said Joseph Stefanko, Director of Bands at Hazleton Area High School.

The Cougars recently won a state championship in the America A Division of Cavalcade of Bands.

Showcasing their talent at this historic event marks yet another milestone.

“The students have done an outstanding job, worked countless hours in the practice room and really worked hard to deserve this,” said Stefanko.

Excitement remained at an all-time high as students returned home and unpacked later in the day.

“It was a very memorable experience, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it,” said Gabbi Howe, Hazleton Area High School Junior & Band Member.

Howe is one of the band’s 40 skilled musicians. She echoes her fellow classmates’ feelings of gratitude.

“I’m so grateful that they thought of us and they thought to ask us and I’m so grateful for all of the staff and everyone for supporting us and pushing us to do our best, and Stefanko for keeping us on track and getting us our music and helping us learn it the best we could,” said Howe.

The Lincoln University Choir, Pittsburgh Youth Chorus and African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas Choir were the other performers at the event.