New pep band set for debut |

New pep band set for debut

What do students from Grand Valley High School, L.W. St John Middle School, members of the community and school staff all have in common? They have all joined forces to form an Inter-generational Pep Band for Garfield County School District No. 16. The band plans to make its debut at Homecoming on Friday night when the Cardinals take on Hayden. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

The mix of participants shows that by working together great things can be accomplished. With only a few practices under their belts, band director Van Merritt is pleased with the progress the band has made during that time. “I think locals are going to be pleasantly surprised at what we are accomplishing,” said Merritt.

Superintendent of schools, Dr. Steven McKee, approached Merritt in late September to see what the possibilities were for forming a pep band that would include participants from the community.

“We have been trying to give the band program a boost and thought that the pep band would help generate excitement about the program,” said McKee. “The community has been incredibly supportive of our fledgling band program and we thought that this would be a fun way to show them how their support has been appreciated.”

Merritt would love to see the pep band take off like a rocket, and sees the band as a means to generate school and community spirit. “We want to show students and others what a band program is all about, to generate some excitement among kids and others about playing their instruments in an atmosphere of fun and spirit.”

The Inter-generational Pep Band is an ongoing project and anyone who is interested in joining in on the fun is welcome at any time. Merritt is looking for anyone who can read music and play his or her instrument. If interested, contact Merritt at, 285-5705 (W) or 285-7924 (H). The next rehearsal is scheduled for Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the GVHS band room. Rehearsals will move to Monday nights at 7 p.m. on October 17.

The band program is still in need of music arrangements and sheet music, replacement of old worn-out instruments, filing and storage materials and equipment, some electronic equipment and additional low brass instruments.

There will be no classes in Garfield County School District No. 16 in Parachute today. Classes have been canceled to allow staff and students to attend memorial services for Joe Cain.

Sandy Hanson is the Public Information Director for Garfield County School District No. 16,,


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