Strike up the bands

Published 7:02 pm Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Beaufort County resident, who preferred not to share his identity, shared a fine idea with the Washington Daily News.
He proposed a summer concert series at Festival Park. Each local high school band would perform a summer concert, drawing local residents downtown and giving students an opportunity to hone their skills over the long summer break. He said the series might even become a battle of the bands in which one local school walks away with bragging rights for an awesome performance.
This is a suggestion the Daily News would love to see come to fruition. Festival Park has proven to be an ideal location for live music, especially this month with the North Carolina Symphony and Motown Downtown. A high-school band concert series would not come with the price tag of the symphony or Motown concerts. Whatever the costs, it would be an investment in our downtown and our young musicians. It would encourage more students to participate in school music programs and hone the skills of those who do.
Washington High School band alumni returned this week to perform with students at the homecoming game.
Kim Rogers, an alumnae of the Pam Pack Band and organizer of the band homecoming, approached band director Keith Dublin about getting involved with the band and mentoring it. A summer fest would be a wonderful way to continue alumni involvement. Imagine a show where alumni from each school came back, worked with students and performed a song or two in the epic battle.
Once the series was established, it could expand to encompass high school bands from neighboring counties.
One day, an event like this could become a tradition for the region and a great source of pride for our students.
With the help of fellow alumni and Dublin, Rogers said, the WHS alumni homecoming came together in three weeks. Lets see what devoted alumni from each of the schools can do with eight months. Any takers?