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For a step back in time, strike up the alumni band

Fans attending tonight’s Halifax County High School homecoming game at Tuck Dillard Stadium will be treated to a musical step back in time.

An alumni band comprised of former Halifax County High School band members will perform during tonight’s game, serving as a pep band for the occasion.

Former Comets band member Mario Sadler, Halifax County High School Band Director Stephen Harmon and former Comets band member Sheree Tucker have been the leaders of the project.

Tonight’s performance is being held in honor of former Halifax County High School band and chorus director Martha Stevens, who retired at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. She served the high school’s music department for 19 years.

“I’m extremely excited about this,” Harmon said.

“There are no words that I can say that can describe how excited I am. Sheree and Mario have been super. They have done a great deal of legwork and have worked very hard to make this work.”

Harmon said close to 90 former Halifax County High School band members will be participating in the alumni band tonight. Members of the alumni band will march into the stadium behind the Comets band and will perform in the stands during timeouts and other portions of the game.

A former member of the Halifax County High School band who wished to remain anonymous, donated the T-shirts the alumni band members will wear for tonight’s game.

Musically, fans will be treated to some old school favorites. 

“The alumni band will be playing songs like “YMCA,” “The Horse,” “Wild Thing” and “Tequilla,” Harmon pointed out.

“The Horse” is the song that everybody loved back in the day. The alumni band is sure to bring back some memories for a lot of people.”

The creation of the alumni band resulted from a random conversation.

“Mario came to me randomly and said we should have an alumni band to come back here to Halifax County High School and play,” Harmon explained.

“He contacted Sheree, and they got the ball rolling. Sheree created a Facebook page and a website and even put in a PayPal link for donations from band alumni. The music was put online so that people who were interested in participating would have access to the music and could practice on their own.”

Tucker, Harmon said, has been on top of the project since the beginning.

“She is one of the most amazing people I know,” Harmon remarked.

“She has done so much work to make this possible. Sheree and Mario really took this idea to heart and ran with it.”

The alumni band members are scheduled to meet late this afternoon at the high school band room to practice and review the night’s activities.

Harmon is hoping that a good performance by the alumni band tonight will trigger more interest and will lead to an annual event.

“This is something that I hope will continue,” Harmon said.

“There are a lot of people who used to be in the band who still enjoy playing and want a place to play. This gives them an opportunity.”

The Halifax County High School Marching Band will perform the National Anthem with members of the high school chorus and will perform during halftime ceremonies, which will include the crowning of the homecoming queen and homecoming king.