The saying is, “The show must go on.”, but for a Maryland High School, the saying should be, “Whatever it takes to make the band play on!” Walkersville High School has had to resort to extraordinary efforts to ensure the marching band will be at the school’s playoff football game this Friday, November 11, 2011.
This Friday will mark the first home playoff football game since 1987, for Walkersville High School. This should be a great time for the members of the marching band ready to prepare to take the field and play their heart out in support of the football team in front of a packed house.
The problem is that the members of the band will be at the Spring Musical. That’s right – Spring Musical. The musical is usually preformed in the Spring, but because of cutbacks, music is limited to one semester – the Fall Semester. The musical must be performed in the Fall.
“I don’t expect much of a halftime show,” band booster Denny Woolley, told the Frederick News Post.
The marching band is expecting only 12 of 25 members to suit up for the halftime show. That has sent band boosters and parents attempting to track down alumni who may be able to fill in and perform. Desperate times call for desperate measures and some parents have even volunteered to throw on a jacket and perform.
The Frederick News Post is reporting that parent and elementary school music teacher Dan Cheston will play the trumpet alongside his daughter during the game. Cheston and his daughter were reportedly two of 11 musicians practicing Wednesday night in the high school band room. Kirsten Friend, a 2010 graduate, practiced as well and is expected to fill in as a percussionist during the game.
Walkersville music director Windy Neal’s position was cut to one semester beginning this year because of decreased enrollment in music courses. In the spring, she will serve as the music director at Catoctin High School, which has been without a music program in the fall, also due to lower enrollment.
Although there many Frederick County Public School students willing to help out and join the band, it will not be possible. Even though Walkersville Middle School musicians have joined their high school counterparts in the stands during games this year. According to Frederick County Public Schools policy, middle school band members can’t march with the high school.
The irony is that the policy has had many opponents and has had people asking it to be overturned. Since 2006, the attempts to overturn the policy was to no avail.