by Brian Orr WALSENBURG – Erring on the side of caution, the Huerfano RE-1 school board
by Ruth Orr
WALSENBURG — The John Mall band department is an extraordinary place, where magic happens daily. The kids are incredibly dedicated and hardworking, and their efforts show. Over a quarter of the students in band went on to play in honor bands this year, and more could have gone. According to band director Ben Pollack, half the band is playing at honor level, an unheard of accomplishment! The fact that they’ve achieved that in just a few short years makes their talent even more impressive.
When Pollack arrived in 2015, he told the freshman class if they worked hard, he would take them to perform at Disneyland their senior year of high school. The years have passed quickly! The kids have certainly kept up their end of the deal, now all they need is funding.
Pollack has an amazing, once in a lifetime trip planned out for spring break 2019. Driving across the country, the kids would be treated to an afternoon at the beach, a concert by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, and the icing on top of the cake, the opportunity to play music at Disneyland. The students would be admitted to the park to play their concert and be the entertainment of the day for the tens of thousands of people in the park. The second day, students would be allowed to go behind the scenes at Disney to record a Disney song, which would then be laid into a Disney movie. The hope is that not only would the kids have an amazing experience, but they’ll be inspired to keep up with their music as they realize how very possible it is to make their careers in the field.
Our students can definitely hold their own, and have proved over and over again they can do anything they set their mind to. However, charter busses, hotels, tickets, and meals are expensive. Pollack is hoping that he can get the cost to go down to about $850 per person. In order to be sure they can afford to go, the department needs to raise at least $20,000 in the next year.
They have several fundraisers planned over the next few months to start working on it, including a mattress sale in town. Even if you don’t need a mattress, anything you can do to help our kids get to California would be greatly appreciated.
It’s time to put Huerfano County back on the musical map! Support our band program! Check our the event on Facebook for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/134048690645090/