Taking stand for the band

September 30, 2007 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

Good article in the neighbors section of the Charlotte Observer today about the plight of Marching Bands in the Gaston County Schools.

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Have you ever seen a ruff, tuff football player making the rounds, hat in hand, to sell fruit during the holidays? At the local churches for the “pre-game” meal served to South Point football players, do most of them thank the preparers/servers with a handshake or a word of praise? It must be a God-given right for football players to have a trainer, doctor, and multiple coaches along the sideline to “guide these young men and leaders” through the intracacies of  high school life. The message is, “someone else will take care of you”. What are they teaching their charges about life?

Not so, for the so-called “non-revenue sports and extracurricular activities”. Scraping by every year to teach fine arts at the high school level, teachers employed by the school system, resort to what amounts to begging for leftovers through piddly-fundraisers. Nickels and dimes are raised to offset the thousands of dollars necessary to operate a band or theater program.

At South Point for example, the band instructor, Tim Hamilton, has as many as 80-100 students in the marching/concert band class in fourth period. John Devine, PE teacher, has as many as 6-10 coaches, some of those are volunteer-daddies, for 60 players.  Players from South Point are also fed, visiting teams as well, after each home game — granted, a couple of hotdogs/hamburgers — but still fed, while the band has to run out to the local McDonald’s to get hamburgers at a reduced rate. According to SPHS Booster Club (re: FOOTBALL), this is because, “If we fed the band, we wouldn’t have enough to sell”.

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Football, and all sports for that matter, are extracurricular activities, just like Band, cheerleading, French Club, and Moot Court. We would expect as taxpayers, that the various school sports booster clubs respect the students and families that PAY to see the football darlins’ — in the case of the Red Raiders — HOME and AWAY.

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The 70 or so banner sponsors(at $300 a pop), Ray McKenney, and the Football Boosters should also support the Marching Band, which is an important part of the Friday Night High School Tradition.

We are calling on our Belmont friends and neighbors to help support the bands and fine arts programs at South Point. Participate in their fundraising activities and consider “adding” some dollars to your contribution for their effort.

You can call the school, 704-825-3351 to get band contacts, and contacts for the other programs as well.

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Entry filed under: Belmont, Charlotte Observer, Cheerleaders, Community, Football, Front Porch, Gaston County Schools, HS Football, HS Sports, Life, Marching Bands, music, NCHSAA, Politics, Quality of Life, Raising Money for Bands, Ray McKenney, School, Small Town, South Point, South Point HS, Sports, Visitors.

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