HALLSVILLE — Saturday’s rain showers didn’t dampen any spirits as the city of Hallsville presented the town’s inaugural “Music in the Park” event, showcasing Hallsville ISD bands.

“We tried to do this last spring,” Mayor Jesse Casey shared. “COVID didn’t allow it.

“COVID’s caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, including our band,” he said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bands weren’t able to have fundraisers or operate their football game concession stand this year. To help support the band program, the mayor provided a decorative donation box for attendees to contribute to Saturday. The band program also offered a chance to win a Yeti cooler for a donation.

“They hadn’t been able to have a fundraiser, so we’re just trying to raise some money for them and trying to help them out,” Mayor Casey said.

“And I just took it up on myself to make this,” he said of the donation box, “and just do some things to try to raise some money.”

The band program is offered sixth through 12th grade. The highlight for seniors, Casey said, is their annual band trip, but due to the pandemic, they weren’t able to raise funds for one this year.

“So we’re trying to help them out,” the mayor said.

In addition to providing a chance to support the band, the Music in the Park event also gave families an opportunity to hear the students belt out their tunes for the first time this year.

“I invited the choir. Well, the choir couldn’t do it from the schools, so the band jumped on it because the parents have not gotten to hear these kids play this year, and so we invited them,” Casey said. “It was very nice.”

City officials were glad to see the crowd Saturday and happy that the rain didn’t cancel the event. Although the early morning games kicked off slow due to the rain, things picked up by the afternoon as the bands began to play.

“We work with some smart people. They know when you start getting the school kids out, the folks end up coming,” Mayor Casey teased. “And their parents and their grandparents hadn’t got to hear them play all year.

“It’s the first time they got to perform, so we’ve had a pretty good crowd,” Mayor Casey said.

Hallsville band director Sherry Morgan thanked all for their support.

“We’re so glad we were able to have a concert outside, so that we didn’t have to social distance in a building and all that kind of stuff,” she said, looking at the crowd.

“That’s what today is all about — letting your parents come hear you play for the first time — and we’re practicing to go to our competition,” Morgan said as she applauded the bands for their efforts.

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