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Band fundraiser to offset cuts

In anticipation of school funding cuts, Peabody-Burns High School Warrior Band is planning a Music Extravaganza and Barbecue, Thursday at the Brown Building Concert Hall, 810 N. Sycamore, Peabody.

Supporters will enjoy a meal with dessert and musical entertainment for $10.

Band members, fifth through 12th grades, will perform beginning at 6 p.m.

Funds raised will help offset band program expenses including tuition for students to attend band camps and clinics, travel funds to marching engagements, and a band trip every four years to reward high school musicians.

The band has had a presence at local and area events including McPherson’s All Schools Day Parade, being known for dancing along parade routes, sometimes marching backward, dipping instruments to the street, and co-mingling marching lines, all the while playing popular marching band tunes.

Leading the Peabody-Burns bands for more than 10 years, director Steven Glover remembers doing dance steps when he was in high school in the 1980s.

“Peabody was the first band to do them (dance steps) and we were the only ones then,” he said. “There is a core group of students at the high school who take ownership of the band and help others achieve. Most kids sign up for band because they know our tradition and want to be part of it.”

According to USD 398 Superintendent Rex Watson, in the best-case scenario, the district will see more than $200,000 cut from next year’s budget.

“Our state’s budget still is $328 million short of balancing and K-12 education represents 52 percent of the total budget,” Watson said. “Financially, all districts in Kansas are in dire straits.”

The band program is one thing that benefits students tremendously, Watson continued, but is not required by the state.

“While our band program is not on the chopping block, it comes to rely more and more on kids and parents who step-up to help fund it with events like the band barbecue,” Watson said. “This allows us to keep the program at a level where it continues to be meaningful to the kids.”

Band Boosters began planning in October for the upcoming event. According to planning committee co-chairman Rhonda Loucks, by late March, the entire meal was underwritten.

Tickets may be purchase through the district office by calling (620) 983-2198, or purchased at the door Thursday.

Last modified May 13, 2009

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