PROSPERITY — Band Director Jed Thomas and students are ready to make big things happen with the band program at Mid-Carolina High School.
As a step in the right direction, Thomas said they have decided to attend the Bands of America Super-Regional competition in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. This will be the first time in the history of the program that the band has attended a super regional competition.
Differing from a regional competition, this super-regional will be more prestigious, Thomas said, as well as weekend event, rather than a one-day affair. MCHS will compete with bands representing 13 states including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas.
Thomas said 44 bands are registered to compete.
“It will give the students a snapshot of bands from other schools, exposing them to bigger and better things,” Thomas said.
Bands of America is a program of Music for All. More than one million people are alumni of Bands of America marching band events, the first of which were held in 1976. Bands of America was created in 1976 as “Marching Bands of America,” and later renamed Bands of America (BOA) in 1984 and merged with the Music for All Foundation in 2006.
Music for All’s mission is to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through the program.
While looking at the BOA schedule, Thomas said the two closest events to Prosperity were Atlanta and St. Louis, Mo. Thomas said it was neat that the competition is in Atlanta, where the Atlanta Falcons play and the SEC Championship was held.
Thomas said he wanted the band to experience competing in the Georgia Dome because it adds another level of difficulty to a performance. The band will need to have extreme focus on their individual performances as well as that of the entire group as the acoustics will be unlike anything they have experienced.
Thomas said to prepare they will be practicing using earplugs so that each student can concentrate first on their own individual sound.
“What a wonderful opportunity this is for the band to show off what we’ve accomplished together since the last time we attended a Bands of America event,” said Jay Salter, a senior at Mid-Carolina High School and baritone player.
Salter began participating with the marching band program when he was in the eighth grade.
Senior trumpet player Madison Chapman said her first reaction to hearing of the trip was shock.
“I was really excited,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing other bands and showing them what our band is made of and what we can do.”
Chapman said as a group they have been working to rebuild the band program and this would only help them. To prepare for the trip, Chapman said she will be practicing more to become a better musician.
Taylor Smith, also a senior trumpet player, said he had heard so many stories from friends in other bands who had attended similar events and she could not wait to experience it for herself.
One thing each of the students could agree on was that the marching band was one big family of which they were grateful to be a part.
“The best part about band is having a family with which I can share in great music,” Salter said. “It’s its own sort of family.”
The next step
Thomas said it is the band’s belief that you cannot buy success, but instead, that opportunities cost. With the opportunity to perform at their first Super-Regional BOA comes a price tag of $10,000.
The money will cover transportation and rooming costs for the students in the program. As of now, Thomas said about 77 members will be travelling on the trip.
To raise the funds, Thomas said the students will hold several fundraisers this summer in addition to their usual fundraisers.
On June 21, the group will host a car wash from 9 a.m. to noon at Tractor Supply in Newberry. They will hold another car wash on July 12 with the same time and location.
The band will also have a booth set up at the Little Mountain Reunion. A steak supper in September and fruit sales in November and December will also help fund the trip.
Donation can be sent to the Band Boosters at P.O. Box 931, Prosperity. For more information on the competition or the Mid-Carolina band program visit midcarolinaband.com or musicforall.org.