Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
On Friday, July 28, as a group of eager parents, students and band supporters gathered in the Madison County High School (MCHS) cafeteria, a feeling of anticipation began to fill the air. The anticipation was not only for the chicken dinners awaiting the increasingly hungry crowd. There was also a feeling of anticipation for the preview performance from the MCHS Vaquero Guard marching band. Without a doubt, there were some in the cafeteria who remembered the days when the MCHS band was the envy of many band programs across the state; even garnering an invitation to the prestigious Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It has been many years since the band program performed on that level. The students had been putting in long hours for two weeks putting the opening numbers for this year's show on the field. They were eager to show off the results of that work.
After the chicken dinners were served by a group of dedicated volunteers and enjoyed by a group of eager supporters; it was time for the preview performance. From the opening seconds, the band had captured the attention of all those present. When the short preview performance was completed, the audience responded with a generous round of applause. One parent was heard saying after the performance, “That just brought tears to my eyes.”
Band Director Justing Bell was also pleased with the outcome. “We are so proud of how hard these students have worked these past two weeks! I cannot begin to thank everyone who played a part in making this [fundraiser] successful. A big 'thank you' to everyone who came out to support these kids and the band program! A special thanks to Letitia [Bell], Jay [Hicks] and Jasmine [Hall] for all the help during band camp,” said Bell.
The band is planning to participate in an ambitious competition season this year, beginning on Saturday, Sept. 30. The band will also be on hand to entertain crowds gathered at Boot Hill Stadium throughout the football season as well.