The Troy University Band Alumni Association has raised over $23,000 for scholarship funds by publishing a book titled “Fanfare.”
A collection of stories, the book features pictures and stories shared by past members of the Sound of the South.
“Fanfare” was an initiative by Michael Bird, president of the Band Alumni Association.
“We started to put some money into an account to raise money for scholarship, and as we came from 2009 to about 2015, we had raised about two to three thousand dollars on that account,” Bird said. “We had to have $20,000 by the end of 2015, so we knew we had to do something really big to raise the money.”
Bird said that on the occasion of SOTS’ 75th anniversary, the Alumni Association invited all the living current and former band directors to participate in this initiative.
“We decided that a book, one with lots of pictures and stories, would be the best way to get people involved, and it worked very well for us,” Bird said.
The money raised will go toward providing more scholarships and other band necessities.
“Michael has given selflessly with his book and by being president for several years,” said Mark Walker, SOTS band director.
“Anytime we get more scholarship funds for students in Troy, it’s going to make it easier for the students to afford school and to finish their education,” Walker said. “I think it’s a fantastic book and it’s the perfect document to chronicle the life of the Sound of the South.
“It’s got everything in there: fantastic stories, wonderful anecdotes and history.”
Bird also said that it was a collective work from all the alumni board members. He said that he cannot thank each one of them enough.
The scholarship will be provided to two or more students during the annual band reunion.
“It’s a wonderful thing,” said Hallie Shannon, a senior biomedical sciences major and piccolo player from Hoover. “The band barely gets any money from the school, so that helps to maintain the band scholarships and encouraging musicians to come to this school and make it affordable.
“It also helps the band to buy necessary instruments and supplies.”
“I think it’s a beautiful thing,” said Jace Williams, a senior political science major and mellophone player from Macon, Georgia. “I am a heavy advocate of the performing arts, and I think if a person wants to participate and be able to play music, they should.
“I personally think that funds should go towards new marching uniforms and instruments for the school of music.”
“Fanfare” is available at the Barnes and Noble bookstore for $40.