Music returns to rivalry game

Published 8:35 am Thursday, October 11, 2012

WINDSOR – Five years… it has been that long since both bands performed at the annual football rivalry between Bertie High School and Hertford County High School.

That will change here Oct. 26.

Late in August, Bertie County Interim Superintendent of Schools Elaine White issued an official invitation for the HCHS band to perform during the annual rivalry.

“Bertie County Schools and the entire Bertie community look forward to hosting the Hertford County Bears at our upcoming game on Oct. 26,” White wrote. “Additionally, we welcome your band to perform.”

The official invitation was accepted by Hertford County Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael D. Perry.

“I am extremely glad that Hertford and Bertie County Public Schools will continue to participate in joint band performances along with academic activities,” Perry said. “Our students cross the county line every day as relatives, friends and comrades. It is gratifying that both counties understand and acknowledge this important dynamic in the relationships of our students and schools.

“I am glad that an unfortunate incident can be put behind us so that our students can continue in competitive competitions,” he closed.

The bands were barred from playing at the same venue by the Hertford County Board of Education following an incident in Ahoskie in November, 2007.

There, during halftime of the football game between the two schools, the two bands were involved in a physical altercation after the HCHS band took the field while the Bertie band was still playing. The BHS unit had exceeded the time they were given to perform.

Following an investigation by now retired Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael G. Basham, the school board made the decision to not allow the bands to perform at the same site.

Then school board member Ronald G. Baker made a motion to bar the HCHS band from traveling to Bertie for three years and added the Bertie band would not be invited to HCHS during that span.

Meanwhile, the Bertie County Board of Education took no action and publicly said they had no interest in banning the HCHS band from their campus.

Last year discussions began concerning having both bands perform, but the decision was made to wait an additional year.

Bertie High School Athletic Director Marvin Rankins said Tuesday he was working with BHS Interim Principal Calvin Moore to decide when each band would perform and that he expected a decision in the next week or so.