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25th music spectacular to feature band alums

Marching Warhawks invite alumni to join the band in a patriotic song at the Oct. 6 event, in which 19 bands will compete.

By JULIANNE WU

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 23, 2001


SEMINOLE -- This year, the 25th annual Seminole Sound Spectacular will have a little something extra. The sponsor, the Seminole High School Warhawk Marching Band, has invited band alumni to attend and join the 110-member band in a patriotic song.

The event is scheduled for 4:30 to about 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. Band Boosters president Suzan Mullins said the alumni are welcome to join the Warhawk Band even if they don't play an instrument anymore. Band alumni will purchase tickets and sit in the stands until called down to the field to participate.

Those interested should contact Mullins, and they will receive a free copy of the music.

The first event was held in December 1977, when the Seminole High School band, under the direction of Samuel L. Hayward and with Tom Barthel as band president, decided to hold an annual event -- naming it the Seminole Sound Spectacular -- to prepare itself and help other bands prepare for the Florida Tournament of Bands. Now the Sound Spectacular is held in late September or early October.

Hayward, 68, was Seminole High School's band director from 1973 to 1979. When Countryside High School opened in 1979, Hayward was named its band director and has been there for the past 22 years. He plans to have his current band compete at this year's Sound Spectacular.

So far, 19 bands are scheduled to compete Oct. 6 at Seminole High School, which is at 86th Avenue N and 131st Street. They are: Countryside, Dixie Hollins, East Lake, Gibbs, Largo, Osceola, Pinellas Park and Tarpon Springs high schools and Indian Rocks Christian School in Pinellas County; and, from other parts of Florida, Citrus (in Inverness), Crystal River, Cypress Creek, Durant, Gateway-Kissimmee, Lake Howell, Mariner, Pasco, St. Cloud and Springstead high schools.

Each competing band will have about 14 minutes to perform in its respective division: bronze, silver or gold. There will be several intermissions. The Warhawk Band will play while the judges are making their decisions, giving an exhibition only.

Dan Wood directs the Seminole Warhawk Band. Steve Visnage is the assistant band director, and associate directors are Alan Smith, Chad Guess and Bill Durst.

The bronze division contains bands with 45 or fewer wind, brass and percussion players, while the silver division is for bands with 70 or fewer members. Bands with more than 70 members will compete in the gold division.

Band auxiliaries, including flag twirlers, majorettes and dancers, compete as well.

There will be exhibition performances by the Seminole and Madeira Beach Middle School bands and the University of South Florida Marching Band, the Herd of Thunder.

Mullins said the Seminole Warhawk Band hopes to raise about $25,000 to $30,000. After expenses, proceeds go toward the band's trips to the Bands of America Southeast Regional competitions in Orlando and Atlanta and to at least three other competitions during the year in Florida.

- Information from Times files was used in this report.

Seminole Sound Spectacular

The 25th annual Seminole Sound Spectacular will begin at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 6, rain or shine, at the Seminole High School football field, 86th Avenue N and 131st Street. It is sponsored by the Seminole Warhawk Marching Band. Seminole High Band alumni are invited to attend and join in on a patriotic song with the current band. For information, call Suzan Mullins at 393-9257 or e-mail suzmullins@aol.com. Open to the public. Tickets are $10 at the gate.

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