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Bonding through bands
Festival of music at WFHS
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Crystal Jones performs with the North Forsyth Winter Guard during a competition in 2008 at Forsyth Central High School. The Forsyth County Band Exhibition is Tuesday at West Forsyth High. - photo by File photo
If you’re going

Tickets to the Forsyth County Band Exhibition, which begins at 6 p.m. with the performance starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the West Forsyth High School football stadium, are $3. Concessions and raffle items from various businesses will be for sale.
Music lovers will get a rare opportunity to see all of Forsyth County’s middle and high school bands performing together Tuesday during the annual Forsyth County Band Exhibition.

West Forsyth High School will play host to the marching bands of Forsyth Central, North Forsyth, South Forsyth and the new Lambert High, as well as eighth-grade band members from all of the county’s public middle schools.

The event, now in its fourth year, is the one time each year when all of the county’s marching bands perform together at the same place.

“This is an opportunity for band enthusiasts in the county to see and hear all of the halftime shows all in one night,” said Keith Matthews, West Forsyth band director. “The students have been working especially hard for this event because they know everyone is there to see the band.

“I expect the performances will be even better than a Friday night halftime performance.”

Besides giving band students a chance shine away from their sports team peers, the event is also geared toward showing the community how valuable music programs are in schools.

“By involving the middle school bands, this event will also show the community how popular this activity is in our area and how important it is to support the performing arts and music in our schools,” Matthews said.

Just at the high school level, he noted, more than 800 students participate in band programs in the county.

“You could easily double that figure in estimated the number of band students in the middle schools,” he said.

The eighth graders will perform with the high school bands at the close of the show, which in years past has drawn crowds as large as 3,000 people.

“Last year’s attendance was down because of the gas crisis,” Matthews said. “We hope to see another great turnout like 2007 [this year].”