A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment, Fine Arts, Music

Jingle All The Way With the Band

While sitting at home, a sudden sound begins to leak in from outside. A gentle beat, but it’s growing louder, slowly building on itself. Then, a gentle, methodical humming is introduced to the beat, and they both continue to grow. Peeking through the blinds, there’s a group of girls milling around down the street. They’re passing out candy to all of the neighborhood children who ran out to see what the noise was. Looking past them, there is a massive group marching slowly down the road, instruments in hand and playing their hearts out. The Christmas caroling musicians march towards the end of the street, it is December and it is the band’s annual Jingle Jam fundraiser.

“It is a fundraiser, we’re able to raise some money off of doing concerts, but it’s really just a cool community outreach where we’re able to take the band and raise awareness for the group and get our name out there,” said the band director Stephen Bond. “I tell the kids it’s one of the coolest things we do all year. It’s basically Christmas caroling.”

The band offers personal concerts to those houses they march by for $100. They play two or more songs for the concert and while in Pine Mill Ranch they had a Santa Claus with them offering to have cookies with Santa.

“We did two neighborhoods, Pine Mill Ranch and a section of Cinco Ranch. I think we ended up marching about ten or eleven miles. We played 16 concerts. It was exhausting, but it was great,” said Bond.

Through the fundraiser the band was able to raise around $5,000 both by playing concerts and by donations they got while playing throughout the neighborhoods. The color guard took to the front and the back of the band with candy to give to kids and with donation buckets. The band was taught how to march in parades specifically for this event.

“A lot of the music that we sold for concerts we played during marching season. We had one day of rehearsal where we taught all of the Christmas tunes and then we had one day of rehearsal where we taught them how to do a parade. So, two days of rehearsal to preparation,” said Bond.

The rehearsals themselves were laid back and an interesting introduction to parades and christmas music. The students then brought the music with them and practiced privately for Jingle Jam.

“We’re going to move it around every year. The first year that we did Jingle Jam we had it in Cross Creek Ranch and next year we’ll do it in different neighborhoods. So, definitely encourage people whenever they hear the band coming by to check it out,” said Bond