Bands gear up for march­ing sea­son

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - SPORTS - STEPHANIE KOUTOUC & MAT MCCOOL

The Pea Ridge High School band, un­der the di­rec­tion of Kevin Hume, Matt McCool and Sara Beth Eubanks, is gear­ing up for a new march­ing sea­son.

To help the high school band at­tend com­pe­ti­tions, the Pea Ridge Band Boost­ers, now in their of­fi­cial fourth year as a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, works hard to en­sure ad­di­tional costs can be off­set or cov­ered, to al­low the bands to func­tion at a higher level. The Booster Club’s mis­sion is to foster and pro­mote a pos­i­tive im­age of the Pea Ridge Mid­dle and High School Band stu­dents and band pro­gram within the schools and com­mu­nity and to pro­vide moral and fi­nan­cial sup­port and ser­vice to the Pea Ridge Schools Band Pro­gram. Co­op­er­a­tively sup­port the ef­forts of the band di­rec­tors and staff to pro­vide stu­dents with mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence that meets the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards. To ac­com­plish this mis­sion, mul­ti­ple fundrais­ers and du­ties come along with this re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Over the spring and sum­mer, many band par­ents and friends of the band vol­un­teered their time to work at the Wal­mart AMP con­certs, along­side an­other non-profit, Rider’s United 4 Chil­dren. Through those ef­forts, the band re­ceives a per­cent­age of sales to help with fundrais­ing. So these fun op­por­tu­ni­ties ac­tu­ally ben­e­fit two or­ga­ni­za­tions cen­tered around kids. Club mem­bers have fun do­ing this and have a few more con­certs through Septem­ber be­fore the sea­son ends.

Then, Satur­day, Sept. 9, 2017, the Booster Club is host­ing their first big fundraiser in town: Chicken in the Ditch and Car Wash (fall edi­tion) at the Pea Ridge High School park­ing lot at the cor­ner of We­ston and Pick­ens. The com­mu­nity can come out and sup­port the bands by pur­chas­ing lunch at $4 for a half chicken and $7 for a whole chicken. The chicken (do­nated by Tyson’s) is grilled with G&D’s bar­be­cue sauce, which was also gen­er­ously do­nated to the cause. No pre-or­ders this time. Ve­hi­cles can run through the car wash and driv­ers can en­joy mu­sic while they wait.

An­other large fundraiser is the Black­hawk March­ing Clas­sic (fourth an­nual) that is held at the Pea Ridge High School Foot­ball sta­dium, on Satur­day, Oct. 7, 2017. This fundrais­ing event for the Pea Ridge bands, is an in­vi­ta­tional com­pet­i­tive con­test. It runs from from mid-day through early evening, with up to 1,500 at­ten­dees, which in­clude high school band stu­dents, di­rec­tors, par­ents and fam­i­lies. Schools that par­tic­i­pate in the march­ing clas­sic come from around the re­gion, such as Van Buren, Fort Smith, as well as some schools from Ok­la­homa and south­west Mis­souri. An awards cer­e­mony is held to rec­og­nize each band’s per­for­mance, not­ing out­stand­ing work in the ar­eas of march­ing, mu­sic, per­cus­sion, color guard and drum ma­jors. “Place” awards are also pre­sented. Com­pet­i­tive classes are de­signed by en­roll­ments of par­tic­i­pat­ing schools, no mat­ter what the size of the band. This year’s event, will show­case the Lyon Col­lege March­ing Band as the ex­hi­bi­tion band, led by for­mer Pea Ridge Band di­rec­tor, Monty Hill. A nom­i­nal ad­mis­sion fee is charged. Con­ces­sions are avail­able through­out the day. New this year, SnoBiz will be on-site to serve sno-cones, and a por­tion of the sales will be do­nated back to the band. All other pro­ceeds from this event, ben­e­fit the Pea Ridge Band Boost­ers, which in turn ben­e­fits our band pro­grams.

Booster Club mem­bers are in the midst of prepar­ing for this big event, and are cur­rently seek­ing event spon­sors for this fourth an­nual Black­hawk March­ing Clas­sic, as well as to sell color ad space for our event pro­grams. Spon­sor lev­els are: Plat­inum, $1,000; Gold, $750; Sil­ver, $500; and Bronze, $250. To in­quire about ben­e­fits of spon­sor­ship or cost of ad space, email the Boost­ers at Sup­port will help reach many im­me­di­ate and long-term goals for the bands.

In the midst of these larger events in the fall, we con­sis­tently “Feed the Band” be­fore each High School foot­ball game they at­tend, as well as be­fore march­ing com­pe­ti­tions. This year, the Booster Club has be­gun seek­ing meal spon­sors at $250 per event, to en­sure the kids can be fed be­fore the games. They have long days, and a short time in be­tween school and per­for­mances. To be sure to they are fed and healthy, spon­sor­ships are needed.

Ed­i­tor’s note: This is the sec­ond in a three-part se­ries about the Black­hawk Band.

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