Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lincoln Prep & Band Uniforms

While in New Orleans, Ali met a young woman from Shawnee Mission East High School, and conversation turned to barbecue back in Kansas City. The young woman said that she missed the food at Arthur Bryant's, and Ali mentioned that she went to junior high a few blocks from there. "No, it must have been another location," the young woman replied, unable to comprehend that anyone articulate, well-dressed and white could have been educated in that vicinity.

This is an article about Lincoln Prep's outstanding music program and the shabby state of its uniforms. For a decade now, Lincoln's band has earned perfect scores at the Missouri State Large Group Band Competition, and has held an average of three chairs in the All State Band. That's a huge amount of success for a relatively small school in a place where SME kids can't believe there's a school. Ron Martz, the band director, is one of the heroes of Kansas City.

Tonight, there'll be a fundraiser at the Gem Theatre to help replace band uniforms that, in David Ashcraft's phrase, "have seen one too many sweaty tuba player on long marching competitions." Tickets are only $25, and can be bought by calling 816-283-8322. It's a good cause. I hope to see you there.


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