Most performers live to show off their talent in front of an audience.
For the members of the Long County High School band, their chance to show off their talents for 75,000 people comes Jan. 1 at the 2014 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
According to LCHS band director Terry Kenny, the band was selected over hundreds of other high schools after it qualified by winning all of the competitions it entered last year. Kenny said that the band will go to New Orleans on Dec. 30 and remain until Jan. 3. In addition to playing during a nationally televised football game, the band also will compete in their first national competition.
Kenny didn’t hesitate to say that he knows his band will do well when they compete.
“I’ll go formally on the record right now and say that we will place, and in addition to that, we have a real good shot at winning the competition,” he said.
If the band does win, Kenny said, it would bring home a $10,000 first prize.
The director said that the band attending the national competition and playing at the Sugar Bowl is a far cry from the band that he began with three years ago when he became the director.
“We only had 16 members in the band when I got here. Now, with the middle-school members, I got 275, and they all work very hard,” he said.
The band director said he will take 100 members on the Sugar Bowl trip. He said that each band member will have to pay $750 for their own expenses, and then it also will cost $10,000 for chartered buses for the trip. Kenny hopes that the local community will help with the costs. “This is a big deal,” he said. “The band being selected to play at the Sugar Bowl, especially for a small community, already we have seen that many people are taking pride in the band going and representing Ludowici and Long County.”
Kenny said that it also is huge to the band members, many of whom have never been on a trip of this magnitude.
“For so many of us, we take it for granted, having seen other parts of the country,” Kenny said. “But it’s humbling to me when I hear some of the kids talk about this trip, because many of them have never even been out of the state.”
Kenny said that individuals and organizations are encouraged to help, with monetary donations being tax-deductible. For more information, call 545-2135 or 706-286-4413.