The following is a letter that Wawasee Community School Corporation's director of bands Fred Elliott wrote as an explanation as to why the high school band did not march in the Memorial Day parade at Syracuse. As a district, we are working to have a band in a parade in every Wawasee community during this next year.
Mr. Elliott's letter:
I am writing this letter in response to the article in the May 21, 08 Viewpoint section of the Mail Journal entitled “High School Band Noticeably Absent.”
The Wawasee High School Band Program recognizes how important it is to support the community and honor our veterans on Memorial Day. All members of the band and music staff appreciate our community and their continued support of our program.
Just to shed some light on our absence from the Memorial Day parade, our past practice regarding the Memorial Day parade was for the two middle schools bands to march in their respective towns’ parade. Milford Middle School Band marched in the Milford parade and the Wawasee Middle School Band performed in the North Webster and Syracuse Parades. This was a tradition that was started by former Wawasee Middle School Band Director, David Blackwell.
It takes many hours of concentrated practice and rehearsal to prepare for any marching performance and the WHS Band had only a week and a half, or six classes, following their spring concert to prepare for the parade. This is not adequate time to prepare for a quality performance to represent our veterans and community on Memorial Day.
The Wawasee High School Band performs at least two concerts each trimester, along with many public performances at the home football and basketball games. Our last performance for this school year was scheduled on May 15 and featured a combined performance of the WHS Band along with the Lake Area Community Band. The purpose of this concert featured community players and demonstrated their love of music. Admission is free to any of the high school [band] concerts and the community is encouraged to attend. These dates are promoted in the local papers and posted on the sign outside of Wawasee High School.
The members of the Wawasee HS Band use their summer hours to work hard to prepare for the upcoming performance in the Mermaid Festival Parade. The Marching Band
will be present in the Mermaid Festival to thank the community for their support.
I again would like to thank our community for their continued support for the Wawasee Band Program. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me.
Mr. Fred Elliott
Director of Bands, Wawasee Community Schools
Phone: 574-457-3147 x 213
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