FARGO — It takes a lot to get college students to wake up early, but when it involves donuts and a dedicated 12-year-old fan of North Dakota State University's Gold Star Marching Band, even the dark, cold morning couldn't keep them away from a surprise for a boy and his neighborhood.
With temps in the 20s and a blanket of darkness, they arrived. The trombone players, the sousaphones, even the wild, untamed drumline.
"(We're) here representing our boy, Isaac, who is part of the marching band with us," one band member said.
"Their hearts are so pure and awesome, this doesn't surprise me that half the band is going to be in my garage this morning," said Tonya Sorenson, mother of band's biggest fan, Isaac Sorenson.
The West Fargo seventh-grader has become part of the NDSU Gold Star Marching Band family. He even has a trombone of his own he brings to games.
"To know Isaac is to love Isaac," Tonya Sorenson said. "He is an awesome kid who makes your heart happy, and the band makes him happy. It is awesome."
While many in the metro were still asleep Thursday, Oct. 21, the band rolled up to the Sorenson home to play for Isaac.
"We are just blown away, really," Tonya Sorenson said.
"He loves you guys," said Isaac's father, Pat Sorenson, addressing the band. "It is so nice you took the time to spend some time with him, so thank you for that."
Even though lips were cold and valves a little sticky, the sound was sure sweet to Isaac and his cul-de-sac. While it might have been a bit loud for before sunrise, it didn't matter. The whole neighborhood showed up to listen.
"It honestly brings me to tears; they are such a special group of people," Tonya Sorenson said.
So many Gold Star band members wanted to come they had to limit the number attending to 50. They all showed up.
"The band loves Isaac; they all know who he is," said Sigurd Johnson, director of athletic bands at NDSU.
"(It's) fun to see our No. 1 fan of the band. It is just really cool," band member Eric Earley said.
"Isaac has a great heart. He is delayed in life, but he is an awesome kid," Toyna Sorenson said. "You get to know him — he would give you the shirt off his back."
As Isaac stood and watched, he listened as the band even personalized a song. This was his day.
As morning broke in West Fargo, there was a last hurrah. A song and a reminder that it wasn't so much that the band showed up — it's why they came and who they played for.