By Wendi Reardon Price
Clarkston News Staff Writer
INDEPENDENCE TWP. — Clarkston High School Marching Band students stood for photos at the entrance of the Wolves’ stadium before heading off to their first competition, Sept. 23.
But as they were smiling and singing the Wolves’ fight song for the cameras they noticed a semi-trailer driving towards the event parking lot. Those smiles turned into clapping, cheering and screaming in excitement.
“We did a surprise,” said David Murphy, president of Clarkston Schools Instrumental Music Association. “They didn’t know it was coming. We kept it a secret so we had it ready to go for our first competition. They were so surprised and happy. It’s a sense of pride and to have something like that to pull into a competition you instantly feel really good about yourself.”
He added it’s a great sense of pride for the students and the program.
“The kids instantly feel good,” he said.
Murphy shared it is strictly supported by the sponsors.
The talk for needing one began 15 years ago. One of the reasons is for the room. When the marching band travels to competition they have a lot to take with them – trunks, instruments, flags, props and more.
“We have so many things,” Murphy said. “Typically we are taking three trailers and sometimes we have to rent a semitruck or a U-Haul to haul all of our equipment to competitions. It’s a lot of work. You are always having to get parents who have trucks and who have a truck who can pull a trailer. Find out who is available that day, who can rent a U-Haul for that weekend. It’s a lot of work.
Plus, we have it for safety for parents. It’s safe loading these big heavy things onto trucks. Sometimes it’s unsafe. This makes it a lot safer. We have really needed one.”
They thought they had one but then the COVID pandemic occurred and it didn’t happen as some sponsors and the company with the semitrailer couldn’t help out anymore.
“Finally it came through,” Murphy shared. “We really worked hard at getting sponsors and people who wanted to have their name on the truck and wanted to help us out. They get great advertising. They get to go in all of our programs. They get social media presence. They get a big logo on the truck which is pretty cool. We travel to Ford Field, we travel to University of Michigan for games. We travel all over the state for competitions. It’s nice to have.”
He added a big thank you to the sponsors.
“The sponsors really came through donating money. Funding it with putting their logos on the truck. We still have more to come,” Murphy said.
He shared they would love to have more sponsors as there is more to pay for such as gas and the cab, they own the semi-trailer but they don’t own the cab.
Interested sponsors can email Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Wendi Reardon Price