Oneupweb has taken philanthropy to a new level, well beyond a monetary donation.

The Traverse City-based digital marketing agency has committed 1,000 hours of staff time, equipment and creativity to the production of the advocacy documentary, Step & Close. All proceeds from the film, DVD and T-shirt sales will go to the Traverse City West Middle and High School band programs. 

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“Our initial idea was to create a band recruitment video,” explains Oneupweb Founder and CEO, Lisa Wehr. “But once we witnessed the overall positive impact marching band has on these students, our project became a much bigger production with a more comprehensive cause. All kids deserve to be involved in an activity they’re passionate about. And for those who aren’t athletes, band is the perfect extracurricular that gives them a sense of belonging.”

Two public showings of Step & Close will be held at the State Theatre. The events begin Saturday, Dec. 4 with a 6:30 p.m. parade down Front Street with the Traverse City West High School Marching Band, followed by a 7 p.m. premiere screening. A second showing is scheduled the following day, Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3:30 p.m.

At both events, a suggested $10 donation covers admission and live panel discussions with the Traverse City West band directors and marching band students. Step & Close DVDs and t-shirts will be sold at each showing.

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Step & Close, a 45-minute documentary spotlighting the Traverse City West High School marching band, challenges communities nationwide to step up and support their local marching band program. This passionate film provides viewers with an inside look at how band programs successfully shape our youth.

“I personally believe it’s our responsibility as a community to help our kids become as three-dimensional as possible,” explains Wehr. “Marching band helps them connect socially and lets them be a part of something that’s soulfully satisfying.”

And the students aren’t the only ones satisfied. Traverse City West High Band Director Pat Brumbaugh called the film “a highlight in my career.”

To reserve tickets to Step & Close, please visit or call the box office (231) 947-3446. To learn more about the production of Step & Close, view the trailer and to purchase the DVD, please visit

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