THS band director: All members will travel to Indianapolis

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon, center, applauds members of the Thompson High School wind ensemble for being selected for a prestigious national festival. (File)

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon, center, applauds members of the Thompson High School wind ensemble for being selected for a prestigious national festival. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Thanks to the generosity from individuals and businesses in the community, Thompson High School Director of Bands Jon Bubbett is feeling much better about the band’s upcoming trip to Indianapolis.

In mid-July, THS Director of Bands Jon Bubbett received confirmation the band had been selected to perform as a featured band at the National Concert Band Festival. The Concert Band Festival will be a part of the 2015 Music for All National Festival presented by Yamaha, which will be in Indianapolis from March 12-14, 2015.

The wind ensemble is one of only 15 high school bands from across the nation to receive an invitation to perform at the festival, and Bubbett called it “the biggest and most prestigious event of its kind in the nation.”

Because of the significance of being invited to such a festival, Bubbett said he wanted every member of the wind ensemble to attend the event, and began working a few months ago to raise money to help families who otherwise would not be able to foot the $675-per-student cost.

In early December 2014, Bubbett said the band still had about $6,750 to raise to allow every wind ensemble member to attend the festival. As of Jan. 7, the number had decreased dramatically to about $600.

“The last time I checked, it looked good,” Bubbett said. “I’m a lot more optimistic that everyone will get to go now. When we started fundraising, I wasn’t as optimistic.”

Bubbett said individuals and local businesses gave the band “substantial help” after learning about its goal to fund the trip. During its Dec. 12 meeting, the Alabaster Board of Education agreed to pay $12,900 to cover the band’s transportation costs for the trip.

To donate to the band or sponsor a student, contact Bubbett at 401-8042 or email jbubbett@gmail.com.