Fans of Marfa and music everywhere: The Blazing Horns of the Big Bend have an opportunity to march in Disneyland’s Main Street Parade this June and they need your help!
Marfa and the Big Bend of Texas are world famous for having a unique combination of a vibrant artistic community mixed a traditional cattle-ranching background. While seemingly incompatible, it works beautifully.
For many years, the Marfa High School band was a successful part of this community. Not only did the band foster school spirit, but its graduates went on to be leaders in the community and the inspiration for future generations.
However, a shrinking population, coupled with budget issues nearly spelled the end of the Blazing Horns of the Big Bend. The fall of 2016 briefly saw the doors of the band hall closed to music. Community outcry and the use of social media to spread the plight of the band program brought the program from extinction.
Now, 35 students from grade 8 - 12, practice daily and after school. Last year they attended UIL competition for the first time in 10 years, selected drum majors and dusted off the old Blazing Horn marching uniforms. As part of the continued growth of the program, they are gearing up for a June trip to perform in Disneyland’s Main Street Parade. For many of the band members, this will be their first time out of Texas, let alone getting to experience the “Happiest Place on Earth”
David Gomez, president of the Marfa Band Boosters says, “Now that the band is up and running it’s time to take the next step: provide them with an opportunity to gain life experience that can boost their confidence.” Most students have never left the state while some have never been outside of Marfa. Many Marfa families struggle financially. Due to the lack of reliable employment and decent incomes, there is little chance many families could afford the money needed to send the band to California. Gomez also stressed, “The benefits of playing at Disneyland include gaining real-world experience by playing in a completely different environment from Marfa. This trip is an opportunity for them to march and see different places, both invaluable, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“We still need to raise $12,000.00 and 100% of the money we receive will go directly to the cost of the trip, including transportation, park entrance fees, hotels rooms, etc.,” says Band Director Vincent Smith who has taken many bands to march in Disney parades in his nearly 20-year career in band education. “Whether from big cities or small ones, all students come to have a greater understanding of the world and how it works as a result of this opportunity. Bringing that understanding back to school can only make them better players.” Initially, Smith was told Marfa could never raise the money for this trip; however, since September 2017, the Band Boosters’ fundraising hamburger and bake sales, a community 3-on-3 Basketball tournament, and Pass the Hat at the only 4-way stop in town has raised $16,000. Your additional help is needed to get them to California.
For more information or other ways you can help, please visit our website @ www.marfaisd.com or check us out on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/marfaband/ Please take the time to pass this information on to your friends and contacts.
On behalf of the students of Marfa and all the volunteers of the band program, I thank you.
Vincent Smith, Director of the Blazing Horns of the Big Bend