Star Staff Reports
Homecoming… Family… These words have many meanings to many people. On Oct. 5, Millington Central High School Alumni Band members showed what these very words mean to them.
For many of them, 20 years had passed since they last tossed a flag pole, strapped on a drum, picked up a tuba, and stepped onto the football field under the bright lights of Mooney Boswell Stadium.
Invited by the current band director, Kevin Duncan, approximately 50 Alumni band members spanning 1971-2011 did exactly that and joined the current band members for a pre-game show that many will not soon forget.
Talk of putting together an alumni band has been swirling through the group for several years, but with jobs, family, and other commitments, the alumni band project was slow to get off the ground. This year, former Drum Major, Mike Parks (Class of 1989) and former Color Guard Captain, Michelle Purdy Carter (class of 1990) decided to make the project a reality, immediately enlisting the help of other alumni.
What they discovered was that many alumni, both local and out of state, were eager to jump on board. Many had to figure out where their instruments from high school and college were or where they could rent one for a reasonable price; some even borrowed their children’s instruments. The color guard members practiced solo by watching an online video and as a group every other Saturday in the gym of First United Methodist Church.
Local band members also jumped in on the availability of practice space on the same weekends as the color guard. The two days leading up to Friday night’s performance were a test of all the hard work when the alumni and current band members rehearsed together.
The combined sound of alumni and current band members was enough to put a smile on anyone’s face! The MCHS alumni band members encouraged the current band members to keep playing and working hard. The legacy of a strong band program was shared with students who were equally excited to have the alumni with them. Friday night the band stepped off and into the gate with 100 members – current and alumni – to perform together.
Along with the Star Spangled Banner and the MCHS Fight Song, the group performed Party Rock Anthem and Don’t Stop Believin’. The performance garnered cheers, yells, and applause from the home crowd that included many more MCHS alumni.
The choice of Journey’s popular song was to let people know that no matter the situation, Don’t Stop Believin’.
“We are so glad the rains held out long enough for this performance to take place,” said one alumnus.
One alumni guard member noted, “I definitely missed that rush you get on the field” and an alumni percussionist stated that the hard work, time and frustrations were definitely worth it.
The alumni band members were also thrilled to have family members from a fallen comrade in attendance. Terrell Matlock (class of 1993) was a percussionist who passed away in 2000, but his love, spirit, and approval was felt when the rains came. His oldest sister, Shaneka Reid, made the best statement of all…. You Always Come Home For Family.
In other Homecoming News, the Millington Cheerleaders did cheer the Trojans onto a 10-6 win Oct. 5 against Trezevant in the pouring rain. The girls never left the sideline. But the crowning of the Queen was postponed until this past Friday.
Senior Erin Clark was selected Homecoming Queen.