WHS band alumni play homecoming

Published 11:22 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Former band director Joe Sizemore (Second trumpeter from left) and alumni of Washington High School’s Pam Pack Band joined the band for a rehearsal Thursday evening. The alumni will perform with the band at tonight’s homecoming game. (WDN Photo/Mona Moore)

Their T-shirts say, “Remembering the past, marching with the future” and Pam Pack band alumni plan to do just that at tonight’s homecoming.
“They’re coming in from all over the country to play,” Kim Rogers, an alum of the Pam Pack Band, organizer of the band homecoming and Washington High School science teacher.
Rogers has taught science for 15 years. This is her first year teaching at her alma mater.
She approached band director Keith Dublin about getting involved with the band and mentoring them. The result of that conversation was the band homecoming.
They found a lot of support from Principal Russell Holloman.
“It has been an undertaking,” Rogers said. “For something like this – and even with band – it takes a village. It takes the school, the parents, the students, the community.”
In the last few weeks, she has been in touch with people she hasn’t seen in 20 years. They picked up where their friendships left off and pitched in to make tonight’s game one to remember.
Rogers said the Pam Pack Band has always been like a family.
“They’re your friends. They’re your enemies. They’re your shoulder to lean on. They’re your rock,” she said.
As fun as reuniting with former band mates has been, Rogers has not lost focus on the ultimate goal of the evening: to support and mentor the current Pam Pack band.
She said she and Dublin hope the evening will result in an alumni association for the band.
Rogers marveled over how the band homecoming has come together in just three weeks. Even the band moms said they would return.
Word spread over social media networks. The Pam Pack Band Alumni Homecoming Game Facebook group was formed and band director Keith Dublin created a Google Document to track his ever-growing band then emailed music to everyone on the list.
If everyone who RSVP’d shows, there will be at least 70 Pam Pack band alumni spanning seven generations. Those generations played for President John F. Kennedy, marched in several Super Bowl parades, showcased in Disney World. The band was competitive and had a reputation that spanned from Washington, D.C. to Florida.
Because of the size of the group, the alumni will not be a part of halftime show. That does not mean they won’t be heard. Rogers said the fans are in for a treat when they hear the sound a group this size can produce.
They will march into the stadium, do the National Anthem, the fight song and help the cheerleaders keep the crowd pumped up and into the game with pep band music.
“The cheerleaders are tickled,” Rogers said.
The group reunited for the first time Thursday night to practice. But, band alumni who did not make it to practice are still welcome to come and play with their former classmates.
The band will meet in the band room at 6 p.m. tonight. To match the rest of the pack, wear navy T-shirts and jeans.
“It’s gonna be a night,” she said.