West High band marches again thanks to alumni

WEST PRICE HILL, OH (FOX19) - Thanks to the generosity of the alumni association, the band at Western Hills High School is marching again after a ten-year hiatus.

Outside in the mid-September heat, the band plays a rendition of Michael Jackson's 'I Want You Back' under the watchful eyes of band directors Kent Stine and Lee Black.

"The largest challenge would be the fact that the kids have never marched before," Black explained.

"Getting both the students and the other faculty and the administration into the mindset of what's necessary of putting a good quality band program on the field," added Stine.

Black says it can be frustrating and exhausting.

"Everybody gets tired. I get tired, the kids get tired, and sometimes it does get a little frustrating, but we dig down deep. We find something. We just keep going," he said.

Trombone player Jasin Grothaus says he lives to play music, "I love doing all of this. I love being on the field putting on shows with the music that we make, and the shapes that we're going to be making on the field this year."

The band's resurgence was made possible by the Western Hills Alumni Association, which raised more than $700,000 for the band in the past six years.

Association Treasurer Gina Schmidt explained how marching bands have a lot of expenses.

"First, we had to buy all the instruments, all the music books. They had to hire a teacher. The alumni foundation has been paying for the teacher's salary as well," she said.

If the new uniforms arrive in time, the public will get a chance to watch the Western Hills Marching Band strut their stuff in all their splendor during the school's last home game on October 18.

Western Hills High School is located at 2144 Ferguson Road in West Price Hill.

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