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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Eldorado Alumni Band reaches $25K mark

  • They don't toot their own horns, except when they are performing with students. The Eldorado High School Alumni Band are quiet about their good deeds.
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  • They don't toot their own horns, except when they are performing with students.
    The Eldorado High School Alumni Band are quiet about their good deeds.
    But Eldorado Music Director Ben Austin can't say enough about the Alumni Band members when you ask him what they do.
    "The alumni are very, very good. They play with the students at every football and basketball game. They donate instruments to the band. They are currently buying one set of quad drums and a bell set for the marching band. They have given us three new marching snare drums," he said.
    But it is not just hardware that they provide. Each year the alumni play a concert performance at the elementary school and try to get young musicians involved in the school district's music program.
    One of the goals of the Eldorado Alumni Band was to raise $25,000 for the high school band program. They have exceeded that goal and have purchased music, music equipment, instruments and the band trailer.
    The Eldorado Alumni Band's most recent concert was on the Evansville, Ind., riverfront playing for Cargill, Inc., and Cargill donated $1,000 to the band.
    Austin is excited to work with a group of both young and old musicians.
    "I am responsible for music at the elementary school, the middle school and the high school," Austin said. "We have about 20 members of the high school band. The middle school has 25 and the elementary school, about 20. When we play at games our band has about 45 members. That includes many alumni and middle school musicians."
    Austin has been teaching music for eight years.
    He graduated from Gallatin County High School where one of his younger classmates was Hannah Drake, Harrisburg High School's band director.
    He attended Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and lives in Harrisburg.
    A new song audiences can expect to hear this year is Kesha's 'Die Young.'
    Kesha is a popular artist who goes by a single word name.
    "The kids like that song," he said.
    The high school band has a full schedule each year which includes:
    Christmas Concert
    Spring Concert
    Solo and Ensemble Concert
    They compete in the Illinois Grade School Music Association Contest and the Illinois High School Association Contest.
    Follow Kane on twitter.com/tkane_DR
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