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Wilson Central band goes for broke (with video)

Jared Felkins jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com • Updated Nov 1, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Wilson Central’s marching band – at least its uniforms – have seen a lot in the past 13 years. That’s because the uniforms are the only ones band members have worn since the school was founded in 2001.

“We are in a desperate need for them. We are still wearing the same uniforms when the school opened,” said Stacy Jernigan, who co-directs the band with Martin McFarlane. “The average life span of a uniform is 8-10 years. We have also outgrown them as far as band size goes. And we want to update the style a little bit to look more modern.”

Certainly the band has added a few uniforms over the years with its growth from about 30 members in the beginning to 110 strong this year.

“Obviously we are at all the football games with what people see us in being part of the Wilson Central community,” Jernigan said.

So the band is on a quest to raise $50,000 to get new uniforms. Jernigan even designed and now has a prototype of the new threads.

She said the color scheme is unique in incorporating colors from Mt. Juliet High School and Lebanon High School, much like how the school was formed in the first place.

“It's like a merging of those two schools to create our own identity here at Wilson Central,” Jernigan said.

The band unveiled its prototype outfit at its first home game in week 5 of the prep football season at halftime. Jernigan said the response was overwhelming.

“People came up and gave us the money in their pocket to help us out,” she said.

She said the band its well on its way to reaching its goal but still needs about $10,000 to make the dream a reality.

“All plans are on go to have these by next school year,” Jernigan said. “We need everyone's support to make that a reality. We would appreciate any donation, large or small.”

Despite the dated threads, Wilson Central’s marching band has seen some success of late on the competition circuit. The band placed in the top three in each of the five competitions it competed in this year.

At its last, the Middle Tennessee Small Band Championship at Forrest High School in Chapel Hill, Wilson Central won division 3.

“In addition to the overall band awards, our drum majors and our percussion and color guard won first place at several competitions,” said Jernigan, who is in her ninth year with the band.

Jernigan said it’s been one of the most successful seasons the band has seen, at least in recent history.

“It's definitely been right up there,” she said. “As we've gotten bigger, we are competing against bigger bands, and the competition gets stiffer.”

Jernigan describes the halftime show this year as unique, using pieces from composers Gustav Molar and Gustav Holst.

“The name of the show is antiquity, and it's kind of a portrait of Greek mythology,” she said. “You can kind of see that in our flags and costumes.”

During the live football action on the field, however, it’s a bit of a different story.

“In the stands during the game, we are going to play really well-known stuff,” Jernigan said. “Our halftime show, we think will be entertaining, but a lot of it is thought out with our competitions in mind.”

Jernigan said after the season is over, the band will hardly rest with community concerts and performances, Christmas parades and other events planned.

“We are off to a good start,” she said. “We do more throughout the year beyond football season and marching competitions. We definitely laid the groundwork for continued success throughout the year.”

Anyone who would like to donate to the uniform fund for the Wilson Central marching band may call Jernigan at 615-453-4600, ext. 3077. 

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