Central High Band drums up support for new instruments - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Central High Band drums up support for new instruments

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One of Hamilton County's proudest, most historic high schools has a marching band with a great legacy too.  

But the Central Sound of Chattanooga Band from Central High is playing with antiquated instruments and has to travel to other schools to play a concert.  

The notes are true, but a more harsh reality is this:  the Central High band is in serious need of an update.   Many of the instruments have been subjected to decades of wear and tear in a marching band, since the "new" Central was built in 1968.

The Central band still plays at halftime, attends competitions and wins awards. On Friday, they they received Superior Ratings, the highest ratings

  given, at the  Concert Festival at Bradley Central High School. 

But students say some of the instruments don't have a lot of wind left in them.

In recent years, fund-raising efforts have replaced one old instrument at a time, but for each new one that is added, a couple more wear down.   It would take 50 thousand dollars to keep up, money Central doesn't have.

Second-year band director Joshua Bloodworth said, "We do coupon books, car washes, bake sales, and any fundraisers we can, but we need outside support, as much as we can get.  These kids deserve better."

On top of that, are some other humbling facts.   While practicing in the smallest band room in the county, the Central band students have no place on their own campus to stage a show.   Their recent winter concert was held in the new auditorium at Ringgold High, in Catoosa County, Georgia.

"We could desperately use more space," Bloodworth said, "And a place for them to play. They're good kids, the best students in the school.  It's sad, they need a home."

As we reported two years ago, the original plans for Central High in 1968 included an auditorium and band room, but there were funding cuts, and ground still hasn't been broken, 47 years later. 

The Central High Alumni Association has established a GoFundMe page for the band program.

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