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Helping the BHS marching band stay in step

The Bearden Marching Band features more than 150 students and provides entertainment at numerous events including Friday night football games. Excellence requires training and each band performer relies on verbal instructions and the pulse of a metronome during practices in order to sharpen and coordinate music and movement.

Like clockwork: Coordination and precision are on display whenever the Bearden Marching Band takes the field.

The speaker system used by the band was more than 10 years old and no longer broadcasting clearly and reliably. Organizers worried this might negatively affect the students. The Foundation awarded funds to help upgrade the field speakers with accessories that included a rechargeable battery and microphone, plus wireless capability and Bluetooth inputs.

"The new, modern system allows us to communicate effectively, a key component to facilitate growth within the ensemble and improve the quality of the performance,” said Band Director James Wilson. There was also an issue this year with a key musical instrument. The band’s euphoniums, which resemble a small tuba, were more than 20 years old and no longer capable of the advanced levels sought by student performers.

The euphonium, along with the baritone and tuba, is considered the foundation of a band. Without them, the music does not sound full or balanced. The Foundation awarded funds to help purchase two new four-valve compensating euphoniums. “This will be a significant upgrade to our instrument inventory,” said Wilson.


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