The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
High school bands take field for causes
BY LINDLEY ESTES
The night before the most heated competition of the year, the presidential election, all 400 students in Stafford County’s five marching bands will come together for a single cause: to eliminate hunger.
These bands, which usually only see each other in competition, will perform together at the second annual “BAND Together to Fight Hunger” event.
Each band will perform a piece followed by a collaborative performance.
This year’s theme, “Something we can all agree on,” is a nod to that collaboration.
“We can come together even during a hotly contested election,” said Julie McDonald, a parent who helped organize the event. “We can agree on helping a growing number of hungry and creating a culture of service in our children.”
Spotsylvania County’s high schools are also coming together Monday night. Marching bands from the county’s five high schools will perform at Massaponax High School to benefit the division’s homeless students as part of November being Homelessness Awareness Month.
Quantico’s Marine Corps Marching Band is also scheduled to perform at Massaponax.
The entry fee for Spotsylvania’s event is one hygiene item per person that will go to homeless students and their families.
At Stafford’s event, last year’s collaborative piece was “America the Beautiful,” and according to Douglas Armstrong, band director at Mountain View High School, this year’s song will also be patriotic.
Admission to the event is one nonperishable food item.
All proceeds from concessions will be donated along with the food to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.
Donations can also be made at the event or on the food bank’s website: fredfood.org.
McDonald said she expects up to 4,000 people at the event.
“This event is not designed simply to showcase musical talent, or highlight individual school band programs, but as a way to bring our Stafford community together in the effort to raise awareness of the challenges in relation to food and hunger that 40 in 100 citizens in Planning District 16 are facing daily,” said a press release from Stafford County schools.
Armstrong said he envisioned the program a decade ago and has since been working to make it happen.
When he proposed it last year he said the students “thought the idea was fantastic.”
“You could see the grins,” he said.
Armstrong said the music especially makes the event important.
“Music lends emotion,” he said. “It elevates everything we do. To be able to come together and share music in a non-competitive environment is a tremendous lesson.”
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Spotsylvania Marching Band Showcase
WHERE: Massaponax High School, Panther Stadium, 8201 Jefferson Davis Highway, Spotsylvania
WHEN: Monday, 7 p.m.
ADMISSION: One hygiene item (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc.) for the division’s homeless students
WHAT: BAND Together to Fight Hunger
WHERE: Mountain View High School football field, 2135 Mountain View Road, Stafford
WHEN: Monday, 7 p.m.
ADMISSION: One nonperishable food item for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank