PC bands vying for $50,000 prize
PHIL CAMPBELL – The Phil Campbell High School band program has had a rebuilding year in a very literal sense of the term, since the EF5 tornado that tore through the town completely demolished the band room and almost everything inside.
With practically everything wiped out from sheet music to trombones, the program has faced a steep climb back to normal, but that climb could get a little easier with the help from a popular TV show and voters all over the country.
Both the Phil Campbell High School and Phil Campbell Elementary School band programs are in the running for $50,000 to be given away by the hit TV show “Glee” through their “Give a Note” contest.
In total, $1 million dollars will be given away including several $10,000 and $25,000 prizes given away in each region and three $50,000 prizes given to three overall winners, which is what PCHS Band Director Bobby Patrick hopes his program will be able to win.
“I first found out about the contest this summer, but we actually sent in our video to apply at the end of September,” he said. “Chris Burns, the Church of God pastor, put the video together for us using some footage we already had and some we shot specifically for this purpose and I think it really represents the need we have here.”
Patrick said through generous donations from individuals and businesses in the community, both monetary donations and donations of instruments, the PCHS band program was able to get back on its feet for this year’s marching season – but concert season is a completely different story.
“We’ve been able to raise a lot of money for the program, but we still have a long way to go,” Patrick said. “We lost everything – our sheet music, instruments, uniforms our building – it was all gone. Being able to rebuild to where you were is an expensive thing.
“When they tell you a tuba is going to be $15,000, it’s just going to be $15,000 and we have to come up with a way to pay for these things or our kids just have to go without them.”
Patrick said fundraising to help replenish the band program’s coffers isn’t an option since so many in the town lost their homes and everything else they had to the tornado.
“You can’t really go out and ask someone to buy something who has lost everything,” he said. “Everyone wants to help, but the town just isn’t in that kind of a position to help us financially.”
But now, through the “Give a note” contest, anyone with access to the Internet can help the PCHS band program receive money to help get the program back where it needs to be. By going to www.gleegiveanote.com and voting for one of the Phil Campbell schools, residents can get them one step closer to winning.
“We really need to make a big showing with the votes because that counts for 10 percent of our score,” Patrick said. “Other factors the judges will consider are an emotional impact, a relevance to music education and a legitimate need. I think our program has all these things, and this is something I really think our kids deserve after going through so much.”
To help the PCHS band program reach their goal, residents can vote one time per day from any computer or smart phone that has Internet access. Patrick said the system registers votes by IP address, so supporters can vote multiple times per day from work computers, home computers and smart phones. Voting ends on Nov. 7.
“Every vote matters and we really appreciate the support we’ve already received,” Patrick said.
To visit the links directly, go to http://www.gleegiveanote.com/vote_details.php?id=236 for PCHS or http://gleegiveanote.com/vote_details.php?id=26 for PCES.