It takes a whole community to build a band, and that is just what Harman Band is experiencing.
Barbara Green has been the music instructor, and band and choir director at Harman School for four years. Her goal, along with everyone else's, is to rebuild the band program at that school.
"Band at Harman School includes students in grades six through 12," Green said. "This really helps as our school is small and also I teach students in Pre-K to 12. The band consists mostly of students in grades six through 10, due to the time frame when I started teaching here. In another two years, the students I first taught band with will be seniors, so our band should be pretty large; between 40 and 50 students."
The Inter-Mountain photo by Beth Christian Broschart
Under the direction of Barbara Green, the Harman School band is rebuilding its program. The band will march in the Buckwheat Festival parade, the Mountain State Forest Festival Fireman’s Parade and Grand Feature Parade, and will travel to Philadelphia for a music festival.
According to Green, about 50 percent of the students eligible for band are members, and 100 percent of those in fifth grade play musical instruments."
Harman School Principal Tammie Daniels believes there are many reasons the band program is growing.
"We are very fortunate to have Barbara Green as the director of the band," Daniels said. "The students are working very hard, the other teachers in the school are supportive of the band. The parents are helping out, and the community stands behind us."
According to Daniels, there are barriers in small schools that can make growing a band difficult.
"We are on block scheduling, and at a small school, some classes are only offered once a day," Daniels said. "I try to work with schedules to offer upper level classes that will not interfere with band so students who want to be in band have that opportunity. The other teachers are very accommodating and work well with those students who want to play an instrument. Also, the parents are very dedicated to helping their students in the band; I think most of them had the opportunity to be in the band as well and know the value of music in their children's lives."
Green wrote a grant and received $30,000 from VH1 "Save the Music" to purchase new instruments for the band.
"The grant really helped enhance the band here at Harman," Green said. "Some of our equipment was very old and in desperate need of replacement."
Right now, the Harman Band has 29 students being led by drum major Dalton Mullenax. New this year are the flags being carried by Kimyona Warren, Toni Clements and Destinee Isenhart.
Green grew up in Morgantown where she was a member of her high school band and the West Virginia University Pride of West Virginia Marching Band.
"When I was in the band, I learned so much and I was able to travel to many places with the band that I never would have been able to see otherwise," Green said. "That is my hope for this band, that each year we can take a trip and the students get to see and experience places they may not have ever been able to travel to."
The Harman Band traveled to Williamsburg, Va., last year to perform and plans to visit Philadelphia this year. The band marches in the Mountain State Forest Festival Firemen's Parade and Grand Feature Parade. This year, the group also will compete in the Buckwheat Festival Parade in Kingwood. A pep band will perform at the Harman School boys and girls basketball games.
A fundraiser breakfast for the band will be conducted on Sept. 24 at Applebee's in Elkins.