Parkersburg just doesn't know what it has at their schools. I graduated from PHS in 1961. I also graduated from Parris Island, S.C. (USMC boot camp) in 1961. Both sort of parallel each other by instilling pride and tradition.
I have always had pride whenever the PHS band performed at halftime of the football games and in parades, but this year I have seen what goes into making this band the "Pride of PHS." It is tradition. Never changing what has been perfected over many years. Putting hours into practice. Giving up summer break by attending practice every day from the day school lets out in the spring until it starts up again in August.
This past Saturday, I saw firsthand just how good this band is. These young men and women performed at the South vs. PHS football game on Friday night, probably getting home and into bed by 11:30 p.m. or midnight, then getting back to the school by 5:30 a.m. Saturday for a trip by bus to Elkins to take part in the Forest Festival parade and band competition. They marched the parade along with 14 other bands in the cold and misty rain. When they marched smartly by I had great pride. Just before them, the Marine Corps band from Quantico, Va., marched smartly by and I had great pride. The parade started at 12:15 p.m. and was not over until 4 p.m.
After the parade, they (being one of the last in the parade) got to enjoy a break until their competition at 8 p.m. - again being the last to perform their 15 minute program. PHS ended getting the following awards: Grand Champion Parade; First in Class Parade; and Best Drum Major Parade. In field competition, they received runner up Grand Champion; Best Drum Major; Best Drum Line; and Second in Class.
I wrote this letter because you never see anything in the paper about how well they perform in parades or competition away from Parkersburg. Winning this many awards in one competition should be rewarded with some kind of article. Nothing was put in the school paper either. The week before, in Lewisburg, both South and PHS won trophies and there was nothing about either one. Come on Parkersburg. Give these young men and women their due.