A good show, and a great lesson

Published 9:20 pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Folks in Suffolk have always been supportive of their high school marching bands. Whether in one of the city’s parades throughout the year, at football games or in competition, the appearance of a Suffolk marching band is always accompanied by loud and enthusiastic cheers from onlookers.

Folks support the bands that march for the high schools they attended, of course, but that’s not the whole picture. One of the main reasons the bands get such an enthusiastic reception is that they’re perennially good at what they do, and they’re always an entertaining part of the events in which they participate.

At the risk of generating angry letters from supporters of the city’s other three marching bands, it should be noted that Lakeland High School’s Quiet Storm Marching Band has had an especially successful record in recent years. This year alone, the band has brought home 21 first-place awards from various competitions, while its majorettes and dancers went undefeated.

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That’s a great record, and it’s nice that folks in Suffolk have a talented band (or four) to see when they’re at the Christmas parade each year. But what’s even better is the fact that participating in the marching band can help high school students become more successful college students and employees.

“I want to share with them that band is a way to help prepare them for successful living,” Lakeland band director Alvin W. Wilson II said this week. “I’m a very strong advocate of discipline and hard work. I use music as my method.”

Discipline and hard work are valuable lessons for any student. So much the better when the community gets such a good show out of the deal.