HIGH SCHOOL bands in the Ohio Valley aren't what they used to be. Smaller enrollments and decreasing interest have yielded much smaller prep bands. Some schools in fact have seen their units go out of existence.
That is unfortunate.
However, all is not lost.
Buckeye Local High School has fielded an exceptional band for years now. The marching Panthers, under the direction of Bill Stephens, total 120 members strong. That number alone is a major achievement when many current bands number only 10-20.
Buckeye Local's musical excellence was reinforced this past week, as the Panthers' marching band has been selected to participate in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C.
The parade will be held on May 26, 2014.
Being selected for the national event is a grand achievement. Being the only high school band in the state of Ohio to earn that honor speaks volumes of the Panthers' excellence.
The band was nominated by Congressman Bill Johnson.
All 120 Panther band members will be making the trip to Washington.
That is a nice reward for all the hours of practice, travel and preparation turned in by the band, Stephens and his assistants.
The four-day trip takes on an educational tone as the contingent will get to see the sights of Washington, D.C. They will also lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the Military Wreath Laying Ceremony.
Such a journey doesn't come cheaply. It brings with it a $6,700 price tag.
The band will stage many fundraisers to make their trip become a reality.
We commend all those involved with the Buckeye Local High band for their well-deserved recognition and subsequent trip to Washington. We also urge the public to be supportive in making it financially feasible.