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— The Pea Ridge High School Marching Band will don new attire from now on.

It took the band two and a half years of fundraising to purchase 30 new uniforms for the 30 senior high band members.

Some of the fundraisers include a golf tournament, two prom fashion shows, several fundraisers from product companies, spaghetti dinners and grants.

The total cost of the 30 uniforms was $6,000; the band raised $6,500 so far, hoping to continue fundraising efforts to meet the goal of $18,000. The new uniforms will last about 10 years, according to band director Matt McCool. With money they continue to raise, they will have enough to purchase more new uniforms for next year’s incoming freshmen students. They hope to have a stock of about 75 uniforms total.

McCool is currently in his third year in the Pea Ridge school district. In the 2007-2008 school year, he was the music director at Pea Ridge Middle School. He became the High School director last year.

The marching band competed in the Region One Marching Assessment, held at Rogers High School on Oct. 20 of this year. They received the highest scores since 2001, earning a Division 2 in the region, the equivalent to a rating of excellent.

“It’s an incentive for the kids to perform at their best,” Mc-Cool said. “The judges are fair, they do their best to judge each group (according to the size of the school).”

The theme of this year’s assessment was “Jazz Fusion.” The band played “Born to Hand Jive,” a popular tune from the musical “Grease.” Drum major Beth Ash, a Pea Ridge High School senior, donned a poodle skirt while leading theband to victory. In total, three songs were performed.

Marching is now finished, and the band will begin to compete at concert performances.

McCool and Middle School director Katie Hendrix explained that concert band presents its own challenges. The judges focus strictly on musical performance aspects, and don’t have to comment on marching techniques and execution as well, like they do at marching assessments.

School, Pages 7 on 12/16/2009

Print Headline: New attire arrives in time for Christmas parade

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