Time to support schools

Published 8:10 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Last week I had the Escambia County High School band out in the scorching heat to take their photo for the Advance's football tab.
First, I want to thank ECHS band director Dennis Reid for getting all the students together in their band uniforms, getting them to the stadium and organizing them in rows to make a great picture.
Second, I want to thank the ECHS band members for being so cooperative, doing what Reid told them to do and getting the picture done without griping.
I know it was hot for them. I was in the band for seven years during middle and high school so I know firsthand that the band uniforms are not the coolest outfits to wear. Putting on those uniforms is one way to burn up without even walking outside. So, to have a newspaper girl ask you to put on the uniforms and go stand out in the 90-plus degree weather just for a picture is quite an annoyance. So, again, thanks to the ECHS band director and members for doing a great job last week with the photo.
When talking with Reid about how he feels the marching season will go this year, he had nothing but complimentary things to say about the band.
I think that their halftime show will be cute because it is going to be Spanish themed. They will be playing fun songs like "Aztec Fire" and "Children of Sanchez." These are just the kind of songs that will make the crowd dance in the bleachers.
This is Reid's first year at ECHS so there are a few things different for him that he's got to get used to, but he is confident that this year is going to be a great year for the band.
One thing Mr. Reid mentioned is that the band needs some new things, including instruments. He said throughout the year the band will be hosting fundraisers because there are many things they are trying to raise money for.
As I drove down South Main Street towards Florida, I saw ECHS students standing on the side of the road holding up signs that said "ECHS band car wash" Saturday morning while I was out to get breakfast.
I went through the McDonald's drive-thru to get some food and as I was leaving I noticed two band members asking people to roll down their windows. So, when I reached those two band members I asked them what they were doing and they said they were trying to raise money for the band, that they were washing cars across the street behind Arby's.
Well, I wasn't exactly prepared for people to actually see me, I am a little scary in the morning before showering and applying makeup but I promised the two guys that I would be back.
The band members actually caught me at a good time because the day before, I had a bird leave a nasty surprise on my backseat driver's side window. Every time I went to get in my car I had to look at it and it made me sick to my stomach.
So, I did as I promised and came back to the carwash, after 'prettying' myself up of course. The band members did an excellent job washing my car and it looked like they were having a pretty good time doing it, too.
I feel that supporting area schools is important and I wanted to help the band, even though I donated only a small amount of money. Money adds up if everybody goes out and donates the same amount.
The band's carwash didn't stop Saturday, either. I was informed that they will be back this coming Saturday to wash Atmore's filthy cars yet again to raise even more money. They will be out behind Arby's from 9 a.m. until around 1 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting.
Also, while prepping for the football tab, I interviewed Northview High School band director Charles Tucker. He also had nothing but great things to say about the band's practices. He is excited about this year's marching season and I hope to make it out to some of the games because the band is going to be having a "beach" themed halftime show. It should be really cute with songs like "Tequila" and "Wipe Out."
I am not certain whether or not the NHS band will have fundraisers, but I do know that they will also need the support from their fans and community members.
So, Blue Devils and Chiefs fans, you should come out and support your bands because they work hard to entertain you.
Adrienne McKenzie is a staff reporter for The Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123 or via email at lifestyles@atmoreadvance.com

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