Band geeks, take note! Janet Childress and Karen Lyerly of the Mount Pleasant High School Band Boosters don’t resemble Jake and Elwood at all – but like the Blues Brothers, they are getting the band back together.
The two are helping organize an event for the Mount Pleasant community that will honor the Armed Forces, celebrate the importance of music in our schools and lives, and provide an opportunity for former band students to dust off their instruments.
The event is a Memorial Day celebration May 22 at Mount Pleasant Middle School. The program that Friday will include a children’s choir, a presentation from the Eastern Cabarrus Historical Society on the meaning of Memorial Day and tribute to those from Mount Pleasant who gave their lives in military service to this country, and a performance from what is being called the Mount Pleasant Community Band, comprised of current and former band students.
Childress and Lyerly say their goal is for the Memorial Day celebration to be a family-oriented event highlighting town and school spirit. And, they’re excited to see who comes out of the woodwork to join the band.
Bart Tulbert, band director at Mount Pleasant High School, will lead the community band. He says there’s never been an opportunity in the past to bring former band students back to play, so when the band boosters suggested an event like this, he was open to the idea. When they added military recognition to the mix, Tulbert was on board. “Those are two things that pair well together,” he said, pointing out that lots of band alumni serve in the military.
The community band will play a variety of music, Tulbert said, especially “old standards in wind band literature” and patriotic tunes, including a medley of service hymns from each branch of the military.
A couple weeks ago, Tulbert issued an invitation on Facebook for former students to come back and play with his current students for this concert. He’s had commitments from 33 alumni who are excited about an opportunity to play again.
But, Tulbert points out, the community band is not just for Mount Pleasant alumni. Anyone in the area who ever played in band is welcome.
Jeanette Wax is in charge of the part of the event that will help support the band program financially: concessions. She and her crew will be selling “good ol’ American food” such as hamburgers and hot dogs before the music begins at 6:30 p.m. She says events like this are important to raise community support and awareness of this outstanding band program.
Childress agrees, pointing out that Mount Pleasant is special because there is just one high school in town. “School spirit and community spirit are the same thing here,” she said.
“On Friday nights, everyone wears blue and gold,” Tulbert added. But on May 22, “we want to see everyone in red, white and blue,” said Childress.
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com
Want to play?
Anyone interested in playing at the Memorial Day event should email MountPleasantCommunityBand@gmail.com for information. For updates on this and other band events, like their Facebook page, Mount Pleasant Band Fans.