HCHS Band asks for community support

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2005

AHOSKIE – As seniors at Hertford County High School (HCHS), Quakedra Mizzell and Tory Slade are old enough to know you can’t judge a book by its cover, but when that cover comes in the form of 15-year old band uniforms, they have a different perspective.

Currently drum majors in their high school band, Mizzell and Slade have played a variety of instruments over the past four years, leaving them with plenty of opportunities to demonstrate their abilities at sports events and other community events, but it has also left them disillusioned.

&uot;It’s embarrassing to play at an event or competition where other bands dress neatly and in matching uniforms and our uniforms are tacked up with safety pins,&uot; said Mizzell, noting how some band members are either too big or too small for the existing uniforms. &uot;The drum line doesn’t even wear uniforms because none of the ones we have match,&uot; she said.

Slade shared Mizzell’s desire to have the band’s outward appearance consistent with the quality of its musical performance.

&uot;I’d like to see future students have something we didn’t,&uot; he said. &uot;Something that when I come back for homecoming and other events, I will be proud to say, ‘that’s my alma mater’.&uot;

Mizzell feels the new uniforms would give the band a renewed sense of pride and would likely increase their chances of receiving favorable marks during competitions.

&uot;Our band has received several trophies for performance in previous years, but judges also grade the bands on their appearance,&uot; she said.

However, the cost of the new look would run at approximately $40,000 for 100 uniforms, an amount of money HCHS Band Director Frank Williams, says will have to be raised largely through fund raising events.

&uot;Years ago, parents of the high school’s band members formed a group called ‘Band Boosters,’ which helps with that sort of thing,&uot; he said, crediting the group for its continual support.

According to Williams, in addition to having the concession stand during football season, Band Boosters is planning to host several fundraisers, including the sale of gift candles and AVON products.

&uot;We are fortunate to have this kind of support,&uot; he said.

Williams also obtained a list of local business addresses from the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce to solicit help from the business community along with support from the Hertford County School Board in spreading the word about the need.

&uot;The band has done well in representing the county with pride and dignity, and the new uniforms would simply add to their presentation,&uot; Williams said.

To contribute funds towards the purchase the new uniforms, please make checks payable to the HCHSBB Uniform Fund c/o RBC Centura Bank 102-104 E. Church Street P.O. Box 887, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or RBC Centura P.O. Box 67, Murfreesboro, NC 27855.

For additional information, contact Frank Williams at 252-332-4622.