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West band serves seniors holiday lunch
Band WEB 1
Cash Green leads the West Forsyth High School band Monday during a concert for local seniors. Band Director Pat Gallagher invited Green to join in. - photo by Jim Dean

Most field trips are taken to sites other than schools.

On Monday, however, participants in Forsyth County Senior Services’ program at Charles Place visited West Forsyth High School.

The group of about 50 seniors came to hear a Christmas performance by the school’s band and have lunch, which was provided by band booster parents.

Kerry Rosewall, a Charles Place employee, said the trip, which has been held for about four years, is becoming a favorite.

“They’re so gracious, the band boosters who do it,” she said. “Our seniors just love it, especially during the holidays. They love getting away from the center.

“The seniors enjoy it so much. It’s so great for the seniors to have that mixture of being here and seeing the high schoolers. It means a lot.”

Cash Green got a special treat when he was invited on stage to serve as an honorary conductor for the band’s final number. It was the second year in a row he landed the role.

“I’ve always been a leader in my life,” he joked. “So if I get the chance to lead, I lead.”

Diana Prater and Mary Smith added that they always look forward to the concert.

“It’s just wonderful music and all the styles of the kids are fun,” Prater said.

“It’s so nice to see the youth perform,” Smith added. “We really enjoy that because it makes us feel young and it just makes you feel good.”

Band booster parent Kathy Mulvey, one of the lead organizers, said the annual event is well supported.

“I send an e-mail saying this is all the food I need and I get many parents volunteering to cook,” she said. “We have other volunteers who come in to serve, so it’s really wonderful to see.”

Mulvey said it’s important for students to learn about giving back.

“It’s a nice community outreach that we like to do,” she said. “Especially at this time of year, there are people who really have no place to go for the holidays and this gives them at least one festive meal.

“The kids love doing this. I was here Friday night setting up and I had many band kids here helping me just because they wanted to.”

Pat Gallagher, West’s band director, said the students enjoy having a chance to perform for a different audience.

“The kids really like it and really look forward to it,” he said. “It’s really good for them … to give back and be able to bring joy to somebody’s heart. And it’s different, because most of the times with concerts it’s only their families and friends, and when there are outside people, they really work hard.

“It’s really a great community activity.”