About 5 years ago, I approached Mr. Vito Montauk, High Springs Community School Director of Bands, and asked him if he would consider having his entire band department to come out to James Paul Park and perform for the community. He thought I was crazy. I am, but that's another story. His initial thought is all the work he had to do to get permission from the school. He thought about it and begin getting permission to proceed. When we did the first show, I wanted to make it special for the kids. We hired a Blues/Jazz band: Bubba Can't Dance to "open" for the students. We also turned it into a small fundraiser by selling hot dogs, cookies, chips and drinks for a dollar. We donated all the proceeds back to the band dept. We had a bounce house, ect... There was over 100 students with instruments and approx 400 total in attendance. The event was a smashing success, at least in my mind. We were able to donate to the band dept, the kids loved watching and listening to an actual professional band. This also sparked interest to continue to practice and do well in school. "Maybe one day I can plat like that" one of the students told me as we were leaving.
We have had this event several times over the years. About 1/2 of the time we had to cancel because of Florida weather. Last year we had worked with the Gainesville Big Band, premiere choice for big band jazz in North Central Florida, and had to cancel the event because of a storm headed our way. The GBB asked if they could still perform. We moved them and a few students inside the High Springs Community Building and they performed there. What fun!
This year, Sunday May 19th at 2pm, we are preparing to perform in James Paul Park again with the Gainesville Big Band opening for the students. The High Springs Lions Club will be on hand to help sell the food items. The school springs concert is at the same time frame, so Mr Montauk wants to incorporate the High Springs Chorus, High Spring Color Guard and the Band(s): Beginner, Intermediate & Symphonic all into one showcase. Then at the end, everyone will an instrument will perform "The Eye of the Tiger" Hey, its a tradition.
Plan on coming out, bring your lawn chairs or blankets, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a few dollars, kick back and enjoy the music.
We are currently working on a back up plan in case of inclement weather.