Baker High alum and member of the Florida Gators marching band Taylor Hartley returned from London on July 31 after performing in the Olympics and squeezing in some sightseeing during a very busy week-long trip.
The Press caught up with the 19-year-old Glen St. Mary native now attending the University of Florida and studying tourism and hospitality upon her return for an interview via e-mail.
She is a 2011 graduated of the high school and the daughter of Rhonda and Mark Hartley, also of Glen.
Press: Had you ever been abroad before?
Hartley: I actually have never been abroad before. This made the trip even more exciting. I had flown before, but not more than about 2 hours, so a 6-hour flight seemed crazy. I really enjoyed the trip. My favorite part of the flight was having access to movies and games. A few of the band members and I played trivia on the flight there. I was really nervous about flying over the water, but I just said a little prayer to myself right before take off and that helped calm my nerves.
Press: When and how did you find out the Gator band would be going to the Olympics?
Hartley: We were told about the trip at band practice during the fall. At first, we were just in awe, then there were a few screams and jumping up and down. It was one of the most exciting days. However, we were still not sure it was actually going to happen. Therefore, we tried to stay as calm as possible until we knew for sure. They announced our news to the entire Gator Nation at one of the home games during halftime.
Press: What is your role in the band? And what was the band’s role in the Olympics?