More than 80 people played at last year’s homecoming. Band alumni have been invited back for this year’s homecoming festivities. WENDI LINES JACKSON | CONTRIBUTED
More than 80 people played at last year’s homecoming. Band alumni have been invited back for this year’s homecoming festivities.
WENDI LINES JACKSON | CONTRIBUTED

Archived Story

Marching on: WHS Band alumni invited to play at Homecoming

Published 9:10pm Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 11 will be a true homecoming for Washington High School’s marching band. For the second year in a row, the band has invited former band members to join them in the stands for the big game.
In its inaugural year, more than 80 current and former band members played at the homecoming game. People returned from as far away as Brooklyn, N.Y.
This year’s response has not been as high, but the numbers are rise with each day.
Michael Blackmon, current director of Washington’s marching band, said current members are looking forward to meeting those who played before them.
“They’re really excited about seeing some high school involvement,” Blackmon said. “The best part about homecoming is obviously the community support that we’re getting.”
The invitation to join the festivities has been extended to absolutely anyone ever involved in Washington High School’s band program. The list includes sponsors, band moms, parents, band directors and musicians.
“There’s a lot of people in Washington that were involved in this and we just want them to come out,” said Kim Rogers, a band alum who currently teaches at WHS. “We want to include everyone of every age, experience or ability, whether it be instrument, flags, drum line, drum major or band families. It’s a homecoming so it’s a good time to come home with your band family.”
The full ensemble will play “Louie, Louie,” the “Hey” song and the school’s fight song. Musicians will also be a part of the Star Spangled Banner at the start of the game. Because of the announcements and crowning of the homecoming court, the band will not perform a halftime show.
Blackmon has scheduled two rehearsals for alumni to attend. The first will be Oct. 10, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the band room.
“And then, alumni are invited to come to the school bonfire after that,” Blackmon said.
The second rehearsal will be at 5:30 p.m. in the band room on homecoming night.
Blackmons aid neither rehearsal is required. Former band members are welcome to just show up homecoming night and join in on the fun.
“I think it’s just great to have alumni members come back especially when we’re trying to rebuild,” Blackmon said.
Wendi Lines Jackson, class of 1994, said the main reason alumni came back last year and will continue the tradition this year was to help rebuild the program.
“The band was our family. When I was in high school, the band was our life and I wanted the kids in the band now and the students at the school to see that,” she said. “I know a lot of the kids in there now, they have no clue about all of the fun experiences that are out there, the competitions, the trips.”
Jackson said the band went everywhere from Florida to Canada for competitions while she was there. She hoped to see the program return to that size.
“They need to see that what you do in high school – any kind of involvement – will carry you through life,” Rogers said.
Band alumni will wear navy blue shirts (the same $12 T-shirts worn last year) and blue jeans for the game. Jackson  is handling the shirt orders. She asked that people email her at saycheezphoto11@yahoo.com but said the T-shirts are not a requirement to participate.
Blackmon will email sheet music to each of the songs to anyone who contacts him at mblackmo@beaufort.k12.nc.us.
For more information about the homecoming band, search for the “Pam Pack Band Alumni Homecoming Game - October 11, 2013” on Facebook.

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