The spirit of service is inspired by the legacy of the late Michael D. Sewell, who dedicated his life to school and community music programs in Pickerington and the Central Ohio area for more than 38 years. Mr. Sewell always said, “The most important gift you can give someone is your time.”
The national SERVICE THROUGH MUSIC program highlights contributions bands make to their communities while also giving musicians a way to share in the values and ideals of Saluting America's Band Directors. SERVICE THROUGH MUSIC is a unique program created especially for members of The Band Directors Marching Band and their students.
Below and on the following pages is a sampling of past SERVICE THROUGH MUSIC projects submitted by members of The Band Directors Marching Band.
Columbiana High School Marching Band under the direction of Charles Miller and Meg Silver hosted their 4th Annual Clipper Band Showcase on Saturday, August 26, 2023 in Columbiana, Ohio. Featuring seven area high school bands, the project centered on a collaborative recognition of Columbiana First Responders while also paying homage to 9/11. The theme of this year's showcase was designed around uniting under one banner, one anthem, and one cause. In short, "We Band Together" became a message for unity.
Members of the police department, fire department, EMS, dispatchers, and their families were invited to be honored guests at the show. To conclude the show, all first responders were invited to the field to be recognized and thanked by all participating bands. This recognition concluded with a combined band performance of Rob Grice's “Amazing Grace.”
A total of 330 musicians and 14 directors united to salute the sacrifice, courage, and commitment of first responders to the local community. Both the students and their parents/caregivers were impacted by the event, reinforcing the importance and value of those who serve.
Congratulations to Columbiana band members for their service through music!
The Columbiana High School Band
Members of Columbiana's first responders are thanked for their service at the band's 4th Annual Clipper Band Showcase
On May 29, 2023, 22 students in grades 6-12 from Crookston Public Schools volunteered to perform alongside community musicians during the 2023 Memorial Day Service in Crookston, MN. Two of the high school percussionists marched with the flags at the beginning and end of the service, and two high school band members also read poems during the event as Boys Staters. Crookston High School’s former director of bands, Mrs. Caitlin Becks, organized and conducted the musicians for this event, with assistance from University of Minnesota Crookston’s Mr. George French. Their musical selections included the National Anthem and several arrangements and medleys of familiar patriotic tunes, such as "American Patrol," "America The Beautiful" "America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)," and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
Congratulations to the Crookston Public Schools band members for their service through music!
Members of the Crookston Public Schools Marching Band in the Memorial Day service.
Crookston Public Schools students, along with community members, perform at a Memorial Day service.
On February 3, 2023, a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. The disaster led to evacuations and business closings. Air quality and water supplies were jeopardized. The impact was felt by citizens throughout the community including the 65 members of the East Palestine High School Band. The Bull Dog Band is led by Jennifer Mollenkopf who is a two-time member of The Band Directors Marching Band.
Saluting America’s Band Directors and the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation stepped in to help the East Palestine Band. On March 2, Foundation President Karen Sewell and Project Manager Jim Kuebler traveled to East Palestine High School to visit the band. Karen and Jim spoke to the students sharing words of encouragement from across the country. They also delivered “Bull Dog Strong” t-shirts for each student provided by the Sewell Foundation.
In a nationwide effort, SABD and the Sewell Foundation raised nearly $4,000 to assist the East Palestine Band as they recover from this community disaster. Funds will help make it possible for the band to continue to operate in the face of the financial challenges caused by the derailment and the resulting hardship on the community. Thank you to SABD and members of The Band Directors Marching Band for caring for band students in need!
Members of the East Palestine High School Band, Jennifer Mollenkopf, BDMB member, is director
The East Palestine Bulldog Band, wearing "Bulldog Strong" T-shirts provided by Karen Sewell (front row right) and Saluting America's Band Directors
The Olive Branch Middle School Honor Band of Olive Branch, Mississippi was selected to perform for the Mississippi State Bandmasters Conference as middle school honor band for this conference in December 2022. These students will perform later this year for a local nursing home in the community.
The Olive Branch Middle School Honor Band is led by Terri Green. Congratulations to the Olive Branch Middle School Honor Band for their service through music!
The Olive Branch Middle School Honor Band
A dream many years in the making came true when Bande de Musica La Primavera was selected to march in the 2023 Rose Parade. But the trip almost did not happen for the 190 musicians from Panama when last minute funding for their hotel fell through. Stepping up to the rescue was the Rancho Verde High School Band Department and Val Verde School District in Moreno Valley, California. Rancho Verde opened their school and their hearts to fellow musicians in need.
Members of the Panamanian band, ages 9 to 18, stayed in the high school gym and practiced for their big performance on the football field. The Rancho Verde Band and the community provided 230 sleeping bags and hot meals for their guests. Additional support came from an online fundraiser led by the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation. Thanks to their new friends, musicians of Bande de Musica La Primavera were able to put on an outstanding performance in the 134th Rose Parade and go home with life-long memories.
The Rancho Verde Crimson Regiment is led by Honglac Hathuc. Congratulations to the Rancho Verde community and the Crimson Regiment Band for their service through music!
The Bande de Musica La Primavera, from Panama, march in the 2023 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.
Representatives of the Bande de Musica La Primavera with Honglac Hathuc (in red), director of the Rancho Verde Crimson Regiment in Moreno Valley, CA.
Saluting America's Band Directors™ is a project of the Michael D. Sewell Memorial Foundation.
Website and content copyright © 2018-2023 by Saluting America's Band Directors.