A sound program: WHS alumni encourage students to pursue music

Published 8:16 pm Saturday, October 12, 2013

MONA MOORE | DAILY NEWS Robert Fleming, WHS class of 1966, plays the “Hey” song.

Robert Fleming, WHS class of 1966, plays the “Hey” song.


Washington resident Robert Fleming watched Friday’s Washington High School homecoming amongst old friends and new ones. Pam Pack alumni band members, once again, joined the current band to get the crowds and players into the school spirit.

Homecoming and playing in the band were just as the 1966 graduate remembered them.

“It’s just as much fun,” he said.

Michael Blackmon enjoyed his first homecoming directing the Washington High School Band.

“I’m really excited about having the alumni here. We’re going to try to get the crowd into it and e what the Pam Pack band is capable of,” he said before the game.

The alumni did not come out in the numbers they did last year, the inaugural year of the band’s homecoming, but those there showed students what band was like in its heyday.

Most of the alumni said they came to help the program and wanted to see it grow.

Ashton Owens enjoyed playing the stand music, National Anthem and fight song once again.

“My sister’s in band. She’s a senior. I hope it gets up to where it used to be.”

The band was 150-strong when Owens graduated in 2004.

“I love being able to help and would love to see it come back to what it was when I was here,” said Kipp Hodnett, class of 2,000. “You could have so much support for this.”

He said the support Washington gives to the arts could go a long way for the band. Hodnett would like to see more involvement between professional musicians and students.

He and Randy Woolard, class of 1995, said band gave high school musicians the skills it took to play with professionals. They encouraged students to reach out and find local venues to excel.

“Stick with it,” Woolard said. “Don’t let it go away.”