(Seguin) -- The Seguin Community has plenty of reason to toot it's own horn today. Thanks to you, the band has not only reached but has exceeded its $20,000 goal during KWED's 5 Days of Giving Cash for Carnegie Campaign. On Friday and at the end of five days, the community managed to donate a grand total of $24,254 to the Matador Band.
After an emphasis on collecting money, the Seguin High School Band can now turn its attention to performing next month at Carnegie Hall., one of the most prestigious concert venues in the world. The band is set to perform on March 13.
Day after day last week, donations just kept pouring in for the program. Whether it was $1 or $2,000, every penny in the end added up. The goal set was needed to help cover the remaining costs for the trip to New York City. The funds were to cover such things as meals, luggage fees and band and equipment travel. The Seguin community, no doubt, came to the band's rescue as the funds were crucial and were needed to secure and reserve the trip in the next few days.
Band Director Stan Mauldin was excited to hear the news and says band members will forever be appreciative to the people who have rallied behind their talents and desire to represent them at Carnegie Hall.
"We're humbled and we don't know quite what to do yet. We have a huge responsibility to our community that we want to make sure that we go to New York and represent the city well and the state well and our kids want to work real hard. We're really humbled that our town would think highly enough of us to help us meet that goal," said Mauldin.
Mauldin says last week only solidified what he has already come to know about the community of Seguin.
"We were talking in band class and I think Seguin is the epic enter of cool. This is the place that I would want to spend a long time. We moved here. We go to church here. There's something different in Seguin than any other town. It's built around a school, it's built around our kids in school and part of that as a school educator is the town then cherishes what we're doing. You see it everywhere. You see it at football games, volleyball games, you see it at speech debate. Everywhere they cherish our kids and because of that, they make our life really fun as educators and then you see that when they really start to think we can do some incredibly neat things with our kids, then this is a pretty good place to be. I was at the TMEA, the Music Educator's Convention, and they were talking about Seguin. I said 'this is the best place in the world for band. There's not a better place. The facilities are great. You're close enough to a major city to get symphony players and that to come in. This is the greatest place in the state I believe to do band.' So yea, I dig it here a lot," said Mauldin.
Tammy Bargfrede, the SHS band trip coordinator, was the person appointed to contact Seguin Radio KWED about helping to collect the remaining dollars. Bargfrede says it didn't take long to see the momentum grow each day last week -- accomplishing what the band needed to get done.
"It's absolutely amazing and I'm in awe. I'm must say, that I told the band families last night at our meeting that every check I picked up from every business or individual -- they said 'we are proud of the band. We want to support this organization because they do great things.' That is very humbling and we have a caring community. You know when we come together, we can do great things," said Bargfrede.
Mauldin says KWED’s 5 Days of Giving campaign has only renewed an already strong backing for the program -- a program that has even more to look forward to.
"The band's going to be a 100-years-old in a year and a half so it's an interesting way to start to kick off that centennial -- just to take our kids to Carnegie Hall. We're going to host a band contest here next year and the new auditorium will be open. The fine arts center will be open. The band is growing like crazy. The guys at Barnes said they have 200 beginners next year. That band is going to be 300 before you know it, the marching band will be. We can't wait. We've got a good couple of years ahead of us of really fun things to do as the band gets closer to that centennial," said Mauldin.
In the end, it's the students who gain all the benefits of a supportive community. Junior MeKenzie Mangold, says next month, one of her dreams will finally come true.
"Since I could walk, I was picking up instruments and trying to make music. My mom has VHS's of me singing. It's ridiculous. To have heard of this Carnegie Hall my entire life -- to be told to get to Carnegie -- you have to practice, practice, practice and to all of a sudden have this invitation practically fall out of the sky into my lap. It was unreal. It really was," said Mangold.
A.J. Burns is one of the youngest students to be heading to New York. Burns, a freshman, says he is thankful to all those who have contributed to the trip in one way or another.
"It's just been really fun and exciting preparing to go to New York and play in Carnegie Hall. It's just awesome to be able to do that. Everyone in the community, they're just so excited to come help and support us so that we can go to Carnegie Hall," said Burns.
Sophomore John Blair says there are just no words to express the appreciation and gratitude for what has unfolded before their eyes.
"I think this is a great opportunity for someone like me, because I'm a busy person. I'm the Seguin High School Mascot, band, choir, theatre and I think this is just a great experience -- something to do because I want to go on into a music career later on after college. We're so thankful and you're so great for everything you guys have done. We've been working, hustling trying to get this and anything helps," said Blair.
The band program also thanks the various businesses who agreed to serve as collection sites this past week. They include First Commercial Bank, Gift & Gourmet, First National Bank of Beeville and First United Bank. It also thanks the many other businesses that did their part to collect funds.
Although the community has exceeded the band's $20,000 goal, donations will continue to be accepted. Donations can be dropped off at Seguin Radio KWED or made online at Crowdrise.com.