The Calhoun Middle-High School marching band has been launched for another year with 14 members, according to band director Michael McHenry.

"Our overall goal is to build a balanced, functional, and confident marching band. This years half time show will be performed as a percussion ensemble," said McHenry.

"We hope that our small percussion ensemble will give our older and more experienced members an outlet for musical expression and growth in a fun exciting format," McHenry said.

"At the same time, we can recruit members to a beginner band that can focus on learning the fundamentals without the pressure of weekly performances."

McHenry said the administration has been a great help with their support by securing a VH1 grant for new instruments and by allotting time during 8th period for band practice.

"We expect a gradual growth in the program," McHenry said.

"If we are to experience great success, we must have unwavering support from parents and community members. Should the band grow, the band boosters must grow as well."

"Our community deserves a band to be proud of and we certainly have the students and resources at hand, working to achieve this goal, the Red Devil Marching Band - "The Pride of Calhoun County."

ORIGINAL STORY - CALHOUN BAND LAUNCHED FOR ANOTHER YEAR - Rural Schools Face Sports, Music, Art Program Challenges - Calhoun's school band has managed to launch for another year, according to band director Michael McHenry, but not without facing major hurdles.

Rural schools with declining enrollments and financial problems find themselves in a lurch to support sports, music and arts programs, long entrenched as mainstays of public education.

This year a slim number of 20 youths turned out for football camp at Calhoun High School, with some small schools around the state announcing the closure of football programs.

In recent years, the music and band programs at Calhoun Middle-High School have been struggling. Band director Michael McHenry says there have been some concerns regarding this year's marching band, appearing this summer before the Calhoun Board of Education, indicating the band might near a hiatus for a year to build the program.

"I am proud to say that the students this year have raised the standard and we started camp on July 28th, working hard to put together a show that we believe will make quite an impression on our community," said McHenry. "Our Friday night crowds will not be disappointed, our band will be present at all home games to cheer on our team and entertain our community," he said.

McHenry announced the Calhoun band has received a VH1 Save the Music grant for 8 flutes, 11 clarinets, 3 alto saxophones, 6 trumpets, 4 trombones and some drums donated to the program.

"With a new set of instruments, we expect to see a tremendous growth in our band program. We will begin recruiting at the start of school to build a beginner band program," said McHenry. The new band will premier at the school's Christmas concert.

"We thank the community for their continued support and stand ready for a fresh start this year. It is truly an exciting time to be in band," McHenry concluded.

See ... THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED - Calhoun's Music Programs Fading, Fading, Fading

And ... "YOU ARE THE MUSIC WHILE THE MUSIC LASTS" - High School Band Fading, Funding And Scheduling Creates Crunch

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