U.P. Band Dunking Booth to Raise Funds for D.C. Trip
BY JOHN KRAHNERT III
The Union Pines Marching Vikings will be a featured attraction at this year's Carthage Buggy Festival.
In addition to playing at the festival, the band also will be hosting a dunking booth to help raise money for its trip to the Washington, D.C., Independence Day parade this summer. The band will be one of just a handful across the country participating. The selection marks yet another honor for the Marching Vikings, who have built a -tradition of excellence over the years. The band room in the high school is chock-full of -trophies from the countless competitions that both the marching and concert bands have participated in and won.
Director Rob Hill said he was thrilled about his band's -selection to the parade, adding it was a tribute to the hard work and dedication of his students.
"This is a special parade and a prestigious honor," he said, "in that only a few bands in the country are chosen to do this parade. Even to be nominated to apply to this parade is a big deal. I'm pretty sure the reason why we got at least a nomination is because in the last few years, we've had just really good, strong performances coming out of these groups at Union Pines."
Hill said the school's bands compete both in North Carolina and around the country, and have garnered consistent -superior ratings for their -performances.
Hill was contacted about the parade and invited to apply. He said the application process was lengthy and required a resume of the band's accomplishments over the past few years. Hill also had to submit a video of the band performing.
"The only thing now is we have to raise a bunch of money," Hill said. "That's our next big hurdle, I suppose."
Though the band has been invited to participate, it will have to pay its own way to Washington. Hill expects the trip to cost somewhere between $400 and $450 a -student. That price should include hotel, transportation and other expenses.
The band has 135 students. The rising eighth-graders will also make the trip, which Hill thinks will be a great recruiting tool, bringing the total to 170-180 students.
The band will hold a number of different fundraisers in the coming months. It just -completed a fruit fundraiser, and is looking into holding a golf tournament and maybe candy and doughnut sales.
"We really want to try to make this as cheap as possible for the students," Hill said, "because it's an honor. I -personally feel like they should not be spending too much money because it's -something that they've already given their talent, obviously, to get this kind of nomination."
Hill said his students are excited to march in the parade - with hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets and even more watching at home on television.
As far as Hill knows, Union Pines is the only band from North Carolina participating.
Hill has been the band -director at Union Pines for seven years. He was the band director at New Century Middle School before that. An Army veteran, Hill played in the 82nd Airborne Division band for four years.
He has been selected to be a part of a music delegation to China and will be there for two weeks this December.
Band is a year-round -commitment for most of the school's musicians. Marching band takes place in the fall -during first semester, and -concert band takes place -second semester. The majority of students choose to do both.
They also practice diligently during the summer.
Hill said having both settings means the students progress a lot faster because they are -constantly playing. The bands participate in about five -competitions a year. The -concert band won a competition in Chicago last year.
Even though Union Pines is considered a 3A school -athletically, Hill said that the band is recognized as a 4A or borderline 5A band because of the number of participants.
"Just to have such a big -number in the band here at Union Pines coming out of a 3A school really is impressive," he said. "That's really a testament to the things going on here."
Anyone interested in helping the band with its fundraising efforts can visit its website at www.unionpinesband.org.
Contact John Krahnert III by e-mail at email@example.com.
More like this story