Get on the bandwagon for musicians

Some 180 strong they were, marching crisply about the football field in smart uniforms to the rat-tat-tat of marshaling drums. It was a halftime performance to which Bainbridge High School football fans have been treated throughout the season, loud and vigorous and a testament to the dedication of youth band members and those who guide them.

Only the signs affixed to some of the instruments carried a less-inspiring tune: “Borrowed from Olympic College,” read the banner on one sousaphone; “Resuscitated from a dumpster,” said another. One youth strutted about bearing only a placard reading, pitifully, “I have no instrument.”

Given the quality of their performances this fall – we’ve half-expected Robert Preston and Shirley Jones to appear in the front ranks – we were taken somewhat aback recently to learn of the makeshift nature of the BHS Marching Band’s instrumentation. Despite phenomenal growth in the high school’s various band programs – supplemented by burgeoning programs at the intermediate and middle school levels – BHS students must rely on instruments borrowed and shared, badly careworn and in some cases semi-functional at best.

Horns aplenty, they haven’t.

Since we first made note of the band’s plight, organizers have formally launched a $91,000 fund drive for new instruments. An islander has already donated a fine trombone valued at some $2,000; band boosters soon will be contacting parents and making the rounds of businesses and civic organizations for financial support.

We’re confident that this drive will be a success. Back in 1999, the Review was pleased to honor volunteers Jamie Walter and Brent Olson for coordinating a highly successful campaign for new uniforms for the then-fledgling marching ensemble; that drive had a goal of $60,000, a figure bested by more than 50 percent in just seven weeks. While those were headier economic times, we have no doubt islanders can and will find the means to properly complete the band’s instrumental outfitting.

For the two or three of you out there who may have missed last Wednesday’s paper, donations can be dropped off at the high school, c/o BHS Band Boosters. Volunteer Wendy Danzig is standing by the phone at 842-9778, and band director Stephanie Dupuis at the high school has additional information on specific instrument needs.

The Review’s Who’s Who supplement rolls around again next June, and we’re looking forward to heralding a successful band instrument campaign and the volunteers who will make it happen. Prove us prescient, and support the BHS Band Boosters for a fully equipped marching band in 2004.

Cool spaces

If you haven’t strolled past downtown’s Financial Row of late, you’ve not seen an excellent new project taking shape.

On the front page a few weeks ago, we mentioned the . The project looks to be about half-done now, but one can

Weisman Design Group of Seattle

The ; American Marine Bank and Washington Mutual have banded together to share the costs.

While the editor was on one of his downtown walkabouts last week, a local architect paused for a few moments to marvel at what was taking shape.

“Amazing,” our friend commented. “It’s turning it from a ‘route’ into a ‘place.’”

Precisely. Construction of the small park follows the recent relocation of the bandstand to Winslow Green, two neat additions to our downtown public spaces. If you know anyone at these fine institutions – Ross Thomas at WAMU, Rex Townsend and the gang at AMB, the many merchants and residents at Winslow Green – tell them thanks for their good work.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates