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franklin county times

Bobcat band performs thank you concert

Phil Campbell High School band director Bobby Patrick leads the Bobcat Band during a thank you concert at Regency Square Mall in Florence Saturday.

Phil Campbell band director Bobby Patrick said he was truly humbled by the community support he and the Phil Campbell band program received this past weekend.
For the first time since the April 27 tornado tore through the school’s band room and destroyed everything inside, the PCHS Band performed a sit down concert this past Saturday as a musical “thank you” to the many people who have donated instruments, money and time to help the program get back on its feet after losing everything almost a year ago.
“Some people don’t realize how vital these donations have been to our program,” Patrick said. “Without them, there would have been no concert. Every single instrument and the sheet music we used was either physically donated or purchased with money that was given to us or that we received through a grant.”
During the event, Jessica Burton, deputy director of Save the Children’s U.S. programs in Alabama, presented a check to Patrick for $43,000 that includes $2,000 in funds for the replacement of the band’s destroyed uniforms and shoes.
“Yes, we still had all the kids in the band program, but you really don’t have a band program without the instruments and music for them to play.
“So many people made all that possible for us and it was important for us to let everyone know how much that meant to us.”
The concert was held in Regency Square Mall in Florence and Patrick said he picked the venue for a few different reasons.
“We really felt like it would be a good thing for the kids to just get out of town away from all the destruction to perform this concert,” Patrick said. “Even if we had the concert at Northwest –Shoals, we would have driven through the tornado’s path.
“We also have had many supporters in Florence and the Shoals area throughout this process like the Florence High School Band, who gave us $4,000.
“Having the concert at the mall just seemed like the best idea.”
Patrick said they expected the parents and some members of the community to show up to the concert, but he had no idea so many others would come to show their support.
“It was very overwhelming to see so many people there,” he said. “It was great for the kids, too, because it really showed them how important they are and how much they mean to the community.”
Patrick said his band students have been the picture of resilience and perseverance during the past 11 months.
“I am really proud of these kids for how they have handled this situation and for their great performance at this concert,” he said. “This concert was just another step forward in the rebuilding process for us.”

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