Ardmore City Schools’ middle school and high school bands rocked Heritage Hall from morning until night during their 61st annual barbecue fundraiser.
The event is a chance for the community to support the middle school and high school band. Band booster club president Tammie Long said students pre-sold between 500 and 600 tickets and more than 900 guests attended the barbecue throughout the day to watch the bands perform and eat barbecue served by students.
“Some time in the next three to five years, the kids are going to need new uniforms,” Long said. “Those are high dollar, and they’re meant to last 10 years and they’re about nine years old right now. The community support is there, and we appreciate the community.”
Last year’s barbecue raised enough money to buy a trailer large enough to haul the band’s equipment.
“It can go to all the football games, all the competitions, anywhere,” Band Booster Club Vice president Shelly Ryals said. “When your band matches and everyone looks good, feels good and sounds good, it’s all going to work together.”
The intermediate and advanced band, beginning band and AHS bands performed throughout the day, ending with a community pep rally at 6:30 p.m. Local businesses donated gifts for a silent auction.
Ryals said this year marked the largest turnout of band kids who volunteered to help serve and deliver food. Students delivered roughly 300 meals to people at various businesses, schools, the Chamber of Commerce and Mercy Hospital. AHS drum major Katie Long, Tammie’s daughter, said it was more than worth it.
“We run deliveries and we have to work the line, but we get to get out of school and spend time with other band students and see students who are going to be us in a few years,” Katie Long said. “Yeah, there’s pep rallies for football, but this showcases the band. Usually it’s all about football and cheer and pom, but at this event they come to support us like we do every Friday. And the community comes in and gets to experience what we experience every week.”
AHS drum major Brianna Brown said the barbecue is a chance for both bands to come together as a team.
“I remember being in sixth grade and saying ‘ooh, I can’t wait until I can drive here,’ and now I’m in high school, so that’s really cool,” Brown said. “It’s great to see how [middle school band] is improving, and it’s great for them to be able to see us and see what they can be when they go to high school.”
In between serving and delivering food, some band members had to duck out of the barbecue for band practice at the high school during the day. Brown said it’s not that strange. They have a competition on Tuesday.