Dinner, bluegrass concert to benefit WHS Band

By Derek Halsey (reporter@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Feb. 14, 2013 | Modified: Feb. 23, 2013
Dinner, bluegrass concert to benefit WHS Band

Bluegrass bands Carolina Crossing, pictured, and Surefire will perform Feb. 22 to benefit the Watauga High School Band.

Photo submitted

When school budgets get tight, the music programs tend to get left out in the cold these days.

Even though studies suggest that participation in the arts helps to give students a more well-rounded ability to think, school boards often have hard decisions to make.

Now, there is a group of parents and concerned citizens who are stepping up to help the Watauga High School Band raise funds that are needed to enhance and sustain the music program.

On Feb. 22, the Watauga High School Band Boosters will host the inaugural Benefit Bluegrass Concert and Chili Dinner. The chili dinner will begin at 5 p.m., and the bluegrass concert begins at 7 p.m., featuring performances from Surefire and Carolina Crossing.

The event will take place in Watauga High School’s Ross Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for the dinner, $5 for the concert or $10 for both at the door.

“I have three children in band, one has graduated, and I was in band myself,” said WHS Band Boosters’ Angie Caraway. “All three of my children play multiple instruments, so they elected me to be the publicity chair for Band Boosters.

“We are basically a bunch of parents that go out and raise money for the band because they get, maybe, $1,000 or $2,000 a year. We raise the rest of the money, and the way we do that is by donations, band cards good at local restaurants that offer discounts, and many spaghetti and chili dinners.”

Everything seems to cost more in his slow economic time, and band instruments are no different.
“The reason we do it is because the cost of the bigger band instruments is large, and we help to purchase them, including all of the drums and the tubas and the rest, instruments that a parent could not afford,” Caraway said. “Some of those instruments cost thousands of dollars. The biggest thing that we are trying to raise money for is new band uniforms, which they are in desperate need of. They are literally using the same band uniforms that I used when I was in high school, and the cost of band uniforms is $40,000.”

Gary Trivette, bassist, singer and songwriter for Carolina Crossing, is happy to be onboard with this cause. The group also features Curtis Main on banjo and vocals, Tyler Thompson on guitar and vocals, Dennis Isaacs on guitar and Caleb Courtner on mandolin.

“I think that someone with the Band Boosters had heard of our band, and they called and asked if we would be interested,” Trivette said. “Of course, I was in school band and my sister was in the school band when we were young, and I thought it would be a good thing to do. If you keep kids into music, you keep a lot of them out of trouble. That’s my opinion. It gives them something to occupy their minds, which are growing fast. I think it is a real good thing.”

For more information, call Angie Caraway at (828) 789-9575. The Watauga High School Band Boosters is a registered nonprofit organization, so donations will be accepted and may be tax deductible.

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