STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Four metro Detroit high schools will strike up the bands to raise money for music education.
“We start off the evening with a mass band performance of the national anthem, and that really is an awesome, awesome sound to get 600 kids on the field playing the Star Spangled Banner,” said Matt Schoenherr — Director of Bands and Orchestra at Henry Ford II High School in the Utica Community Schools.
HF II’s marching band will join bands from Eisenhower, Stevenson and Utica High Schools this weekend for “Band-A-Rama.”
Following the Star Spangled Banner, each band will present the half-time show it will be entering into this year’s Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association (MSBOA) festival. [That’s HF II’s performance in the video featured above].
“There’s always somewhat of an inner-school rivalry, especially between sports teams and such,” said Schoenherr, “but for this evening we put all that aside, because we really wanna show each other what we’re doing and what we’re made of, and to encourage and promote what the other bands are doing as well.”
All proceeds from the event benefit the Louis Gonda Memorial Musical Scholarship, which annually awards more than $5,000 for UCS students to attend music camps or take private lessons.
Schoenherr says, from any of the four UCS high schools, there are at least two or three students who will pursue a career in music in one way or another.
Brandon Christmann, a senior and drum major at HF II, is one of them.
“I’m planning on going into music education,” Christmann told WWJ’s Greg Bowman. “It’s a really great opportunity for me to teach other kids and to try to share my information with everyone else around me.”
Band-A-Rama takes place Sunday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. at Swinehart Field on Shelby Road, north of 21 Mile Road, across from Utica High School.
Tickets are available at the gate and are $5 for adults and free for children junior high school age and younger.
Junior Dylan Garon is looking forward to it.
“I really like this event because it’s fun; it’s that on the spot moment. Like, just, there’s no one talking in the stands, everyone’s watching you. It really feels like a performance.”
Utica Community Schools was recently named one of the nation’s best communities for music education by the NAMM Foundation.