At one time Calhoun County High School had over 100 members in the Red Devil Marching Band. That number has dwindled to about 25. New Band Director Harry Beall says he is enthused about his group of musicians and is looking forward to working with them. Band Camp is continuing through next week.

Teacher and band booster Bob Bonar spoke to the Calhoun Board of Education Monday evening, expressing concern for the reduction in supplement to be paid new band director Harry Beall. Beall is to receive $3000, $1000 less than retired band director Jack Downs. Bonar said he understood the band had been funded for all the home games and one away game, but expressed concern the band might not travel to other special events.

Superintendent Ron Blankenship said Bonar had made the wrong assumption. "The band can go to all the events they want," if the Band Boosters continue to fund the activities. Administrator Greg Cartwright said the additional $1000 was being withheld, and it could possibly be available later in the year.

Bonar said he was speaking for some of the band parents, and expressed concern the band would not be following the football team this year. "We just did not understand why the deal was different for Harry Beall this year," he said.

Meanwhile Band Director Beall announced his members have elected to participate in the following activities: Sept. 29, Molasses Festival; Oct. 6, Mountain State Forest Festival at Elkins; Oct. 13, Capital City Classic Marching Band Festival at Charleston; October 20, Governor's Cup Marching Band competition in Summersville. Beall says the Band Boosters have tentatively agreed to pay for the bus and driver for all out of county events, provided funds are available.

Beall said he is pleased the Board of Education has arranged the scheduling for grades 6-8 to insure students who want to play an instrument can do so. "This can insure there will be a new group of students wanting to join the band," he said.

Beall says he believes the Board of Education "has shown great interest in bringing the band back to thriving status."

Members of the CHS Red Devil Marching Band, Band Director, Harry Beall; Drum Major, Matthew Bonar; Band Camp Assistant Director, Chris Fox and Majorette Coach, Patti Haught, Brandon Sampson, Dustin Wagoner, William Weaver, Shane Yeager, James Bailey, Kelly Badgett, Megan McKinstry, Brandon Fox, Nikki Church, Barbara Shock, Christy White, Holly Burch, Susan Sullivan, Travis Tanner, Darris Hupp, Brian Morgan, Kelly Brown, Samantha Parsons, Melissa Richards, Amanda Richards, Jenny Shock, Cynthia Wildfire, Debbie White, J. J. Bremar (helper), Heather Weaver, Casey Westfall and Rebecca Swisher.

The Band Boosters meet on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the band room at CM/HS. Band Booster information can be obtained by contacting Jerry Fox, president of the group at 354-6395. Questions concerning the band can be directed to Harry Beall at 354-6649 or e-mail hbeall@yahoo.com

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