Lakota West band prepares for national spotlight amid programs cuts

WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) - The Lakota West Symphonic Winds band boarded the bus to Columbus Friday afternoon for their practice concert before the highlight of their high school career, a trip to Chicago for the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra clinic at the McCormick place.

"We are the only band in Ohio to ever be invited back three times to Midwest, so this is our third trip since 2000," said Tim Sant a parent and president of the band's booster club.
"It's pretty prestigious, just to know that you're a member of such an elite band," said band member Tim Tanner.
Like many band members Tanner started playing french horn in 6th grade band -- a program that's now been cut along with eight band directors at junior high and elementary school level, as a result of the district's budget cuts and failed levies.
"We have no beginners in Lakota this year, the 6th grade band was totally cut and all these kids that are playing in this top band began in 6th grade," said Greg Snyder, Director of Bands.
Snyder says while he's proud of  the achievements of the of their elite concert band, he worries this could be the grand finale for such prestigious concerts if band programs aren't fully funded by the district.
"Sure we're one of the top bands now, but we want this to continue for the little brothers and sisters and other kids, and we're just very concerned with the staffing that's happening at the junior high and elementary," Snyder said.
With the district's most recent operating levy failing on the November ballot, school board members will soon have to considers millions more in cuts.
"There is going to be a profound impact on these cuts that will be realized in the very near future for everyone," Sant said.

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