By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer
(April 27, 2018) The Stephen Decatur High School band took home first-place awards in orchestra, marching band/color guard and concert band divisions during the Music in the Park Festival in Loveland, Ohio, last weekend.
In addition, the marching band also received outstanding performance honors.
“I hope it is a great lifetime memory and they got a lot out of the weekend,” Stephen Decatur Band Director JD Foell said. “I hope they feel a sense of musical pride, achievement and they had fun.”
Stephen Decatur brought 47 students on the trip, which took place over two days, April 20-21.
“Every kid plays their specific part in the ensemble,” Foell said. “Whether it be a string, percussion or color guard. They all have a job they need to perfect.”
The students competed against nine high schools, which was about 150 people. Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia and Michigan were all represented in the festival by schools and private organizations.
Stephen Decatur High School band members have been performing in old uniforms. New ones have not been purchased since 1991 and cost about $800 each. The goal is to raise $100,000. About $86,000 has been collected so far.
“[Superintendent] Lou Taylor asked the board for $25,000 for each high school, but we are continuing our efforts,” said Stacy Paulsen, president of the Stephen Decatur High School Band Boosters. “They’ve been worn for 27 seasons and have been through a lot of competitions and parades.”
On May 3, the Stephen Decatur Music Boosters will have a raffle drawing for a handcrafted acoustic electric guitar, guitar case and seven lessons.
The one-of-a-kind acoustic electric guitar, was handcrafted and donated by Booster Board member, Robbie Kilchenstein. It is made of domestic and exotic woods from around the world. The prize also features artwork by local artist Jenelle Willey. She used watercolor pencils to hand sketch the Ocean City pier at sunrise.
In addition, the guitar package includes a carrying case and seven lessons from Beach Music in Ocean City. If the winner chooses not to use the lessons, Beach Music will honor a credit for $125, which can be used for any purchase in the store.
Tickets cost $20 each or get six for $100, and all proceeds will go toward replacing the decades-old band uniforms.
The raffle drawing will take place during the spring concert in the Stephen Decatur High School auditorium at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 3.
To see the guitar being played or to purchase tickets and donate, visit the Music Boosters website at sdhsbandboosters.wixsite.com/info/guitar.
For more information search “SDHS Music Boosters” on Facebook.