Golden Apple: Blackduck High School Honoring Vets With Music
Blackduck High School is celebrating Veteran’s Day with a tradition that dates back decades. A group of Blackduck High School students have been busy these past few weeks, prepping for a show local veterans won’t forget.
“It’s a joint effort between the band and choir and the American Legion, Legion Auxiliary and the vets of Blackduck,” says Blackduck English teacher and veteran Jennifer Parker.
Blackduck High School’s veterans programs are known as one of the best. Teachers tell us the school was recognized by the state of Minnesota last year for their Memorial Day program.
“Starting at the end of September, both band and choir begin preparing for the program. And starting at the end of March they prepare for the Memorial Day program, so they put in a lot of time and effort,” says Parker.
“Starting out the year is tough, getting the kids back in the swing of things after a long summer break,” adds band Director Jeff Weaver.
“Mr. Weaver does a fabulous job. He puts so much time and effort into making these concerts and honoring veterans,” says band student Kayla Hentges.
With this program, local service men and women also help with the planning. “We have a really nice relationship between the school and the veterans community here and we do a lot of things together. Veterans will even come to speak to our classes,” says Parker.
Celebrating veterans is a pretty big deal at Blackduck. This tradition has been around for more than 20 years. Some students even say they’ve been prepping since the 5th grade. “We start young so that once we get to high school, we can have a good program,” says band student Kirsten Theisen.
If you’re wondering what to expect, students say you may need some tissues because it’s going to be emotional. “We go out to every branch in the military, army, navy, air force,” says student Deja Palmer, who is a part of the band and the choir.
“It’s good to see kids give it their best to the audience and to themselves. The Veterans Day program is very important,” adds Weaver.
“My favorite part about playing the concert is being able to see all the veterans in the stands. The look on their faces when you play a piece of music and you can tell it means something to them,” says band student Haley Murray.
Tomorrow’s program starts with a special dinner for the veterans at 5 p.m., and then the band and choir will perform at 7 p.m. There will also be a special rose ceremony for the veterans in attendance.