LUBBOCK, Texas — Christmastime would normally mean the Andrews High School Band would be preparing for their holiday parade, but with the tragic loss of their bus driver and their band director, the plan this year was to cancel the parade altogether.
But for the rest of the band family around the region, they couldn’t let that happen. When the Assistant Manager of Tarpley Music, Chris Wheeler, who has worked with a majority of the bands in the area, heard the parade might be canceled, he got an idea: What if other area bands went down to march with Andrews?
He ran the idea past a friend and it took off.
“This was not hard. This is just a deal where we presented an opportunity. Everyone was looking for an opportunity to help and to serve and to support and this just happened,” said Wheeler.
Wheeler originally hoping for at least 10 bands, each with 10 students to join in with Andrews, but in just two days that number quickly rose to almost 30 bands and over 900 students.
“To lose anybody is awful. To lose more than one member of the community, like Andrews did [is awful],” said Wheeler. “We should be able to take the tragedy and turn it into something wonderful, beautiful and that’s what this is about making something beautiful out of a tragedy, through love.”
All 900 plus students will head down to Andrews on Friday to march in step, play in time and show them their family has their back.
“There’s so many horrible things and so much hate going on in the world, it’s kinda nice to be able to look around and say this is how we do it in West Texas,” said Director of Band for Brownfield ISD, Will Burks.
While on Friday night the bands’ might be playing Jingle Bell Rock, their message is clear:
“We are there for you and we are there to support you today tomorrow and in the weeks to come,” said Burks.
The band boosters, directors and music lovers from all over the region are planning to provide dinner for all the kids that come to the parade.
For those that wish to attend the parade starts at 7:00 p.m. in Andrews on Friday, December 3.