I was a little disappointed to read your article "North Coast students, bands to compete at High School State Band Championship," in The Daily Astorian, April 28.

It is quite an achievement, just like athletics, to get to a state championship, and I don't think you placed enough emphasis on their achievement.

John Hammond, Warrenton's band instructor has worked for only three years with these students to make them achieve higher standards in music. They did not have these standards prior to his coming to Warrenton.

Four of his students play in the North Coast Symphonic Band. He encourages his students to participate in band camps, District Honor Band, State Honor Band and solo competitions, just like other band instructors.

Bands like Warrenton are lacking in funds and when the prospects of uniforms, instruments and how to pay to get to these competitions is a problem, I think we need to re-evaluate where the money is going. At the state competition, the 2A bands were told during the awards ceremony that the bands just keep getting better each year. This makes me think that we have a lot of hard-working band directors and students. The students learn a lot from competing at these high levels and even though Warrenton only received sixth place, that is nothing to be disappointed about because members made it that far. Further, in fact, than Astoria.

Congratulations to Hammond and the Warrenton High School Band for their first state invitation in 13 years.

Kathleen Barber



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