Local Marching Band experiences growing pains, but knows it's a good problem to have
At a time when music programs are dwindling out of schools a local high school band is seeing success in their program. But with a growing program comes growing pains.
Tuesday, October 21st 2014, 10:36 pm EDT
Tuesday, October 21st 2014, 11:22 pm EDT
"This community loves their bands, they really do," said Alan Hunt, Walker Valley High School Marching Band Director.
The proof is in the numbers that the students love it too.
"We opened up the school in 2001 and I think we had 83 people in the band," said Hunt. "14 years later, we have 251 in band."
One of the biggest draws to this band is what they add to the music.
"I think if you offer something that's fun and rewarding, they'll stay in it and I think we do that,” said Hunt.
They expect the band to explode with new members next fall.
"We could end up being 280-300 in the band," said Hunt. "We have to start preparing now for what's going to happen next year."
Next year they will need new uniforms and a lot of them.
"Our uniforms are 14 years old, they've got lots of wear and tear, they look good from the interstate, but you get up close," said Hunt.
That's only part of their problem.
"Right now I have 11 sousaphones and I'm going to be two short, that's another eight thousand we've got to come up with," said Hunt.
The band will need more than 100 thousand dollars to cover both the instruments and the uniforms, but the directors say not one child will be turned away from the program.
"We're always going to have kids that want to be in the band and we're not going to keep them from being in band because there's no uniform," said Hunt.
Hunt knows it a great problem to have.
"Music is everything, what would life be without music? We listen to it when we wake up, when we go to bed, a society without music is chaos," said Hunt.
The band is working on several different fundraisers, if you would like to help them out,
Their talent is being recognized world-wide. The group was visited Tuesday by United Kingdom dignitaries.
The Walker Valley Marching Band and Choir were both invited to participate in the 2016 London New Year's Day Parade. This is the fifth time the group has been invited.
There will be 8,500 groups participating, representing 20 nations.