A loud cheer for the ‘Quiet Storm’

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In a city whose public school football teams have been unable to capture glory on the gridiron for more years than most fans would like to recall, students, faculty, parents and other well wishers often find themselves looking for whatever points of pride they can find.

For many, marching bands provide the rallying point for high school pride. Standing along the parade route for the Suffolk’s Peanut Festival or Holiday parades, it’s always easy to tell what school is represented by the folks standing on a particular piece of sidewalk: When the bands come into view, the cheers burst forth — or the catcalls increase.

One band that seems to capture everyone’s attention, however, is that of Lakeland High School. When the “Quiet Storm” marches down the street, people along the sidewalks are swept up in the fury of stomping feet, bass drums and blaring horns. The energy the band brings to its performance is contagious, and even crosstown rivals seem pleased to acknowledge the quality of the show they’re seeing.

The school will send that show on the road for Memorial Day next year, and the nation will get a chance to experience the Quiet Storm as it blows through Washington, D.C. Lakeland Band Director Alvin Wilson II received an invitation from D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty to represent Virginia in the city annual Memorial Day parade.

“This is the highest honor I’ve ever had a chance to participate in,” Wilson said recently.

It’s also a pretty big honor for the city of Suffolk, which will watch as its students venture forth to represent both Peanut City and the Old Dominion. Practice hard, Quiet Storm, and make us all proud.