Donate to SSHS band here
By Denise DuBois
The Smiths Station High School Panther Spirit Marching Band received so much community support when it entered a video contest in the spring. The band’s video had the most votes, but the contest organizers awarded five other bands with prizes and funding. Now the students need its fans to put their money where their mouths are.
On Monday, the band began a fund raising campaign through SNAPraise with a goal of raising $25,000 to buy new band instruments. While the video contest would have awarded $100,000, Band Director Gene Butler said $25,000 would begin the process of replacing some instruments.
“Some of our instruments are 15 to 20 years old,” Butler said. “The band program is growing. We have 200 students. This is the first time since the band has been ninth through 12th grades that we’ve had 200 students.”
It’s so big, in fact, that there are more french horn players than there are instruments. And Butler had to resort to finding an old sousaphone (also known as a tuba) at the junior high for all 12 players to have an instrument. A sousaphone is $5,000. They are also in need of new baritones and percussion instruments.
“Our drums are 10 to 15 years old so we’re looking to replace those as well,” Butler said.
Students will be sending out emails to friends, family, alumni, and anyone else they know asking for support.
“Open your emails,” Butler said.
The band students have been active in Smiths Station for years. Aside from regular volunteering and collecting items for Toys for Tots, the band also participate in clean-up efforts after the March 3 tornados that devastated the area.
“They do a lot for the community,” Butler said. Now he hopes the community will support them. Donations can also be made without receiving an email. Visit the band’s Facebook page for the link to make a donation through Aug. 11.
Band camp begins July 22. Band members will work hard through the upcoming weeks to get this year’s show on the field. A Band Camp Preview Show is set for Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. ET at Panther Stadium. This year’s show title is “Deck of Cards” and features: Kenny Rogers’s “The Gambler,” Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control,” “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” by Elvis, and “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead.
The preview show is free and open to the public.