Running through Northview High School sophomore Hamin Gil’s mind recently were the melodic lines he spent weeks memorizing so he and other marching band members could take part in the Michigan Competing Band Association’s competition at Ford Field in Detroit.
Hamin also was very much aware the vibraphone he was tap-tap-tapping on was owned by another school district, Byron Center Public Schools.
“It’s really generous,” said Hamin, who’s just finished his second year with the marching band. “It’s one of the last things I’d expect. It’s pretty neat of them.”
The loan of Hamin’s instrument and others helped Northview’s 179-member band finish fifth in their portion of the competition.
In October, the marching band’s 28-foot trailer containing its instruments crashed into a cement wall along U.S. 131, just north of Ann Street. Some of the band’s instruments were damaged.
Soon after, a wave of support arrived from other school districts’ bands. First it was for the Marching Band Festival hosted by East Kentwood High School. That district, plus Kelloggsville and Caledonia bands all helped out so the students could perform.
Later, for the Competing Band competition, Byron Center High School loaned its drum line, including Hamin’s vibraphone.
“There’s a lot of camaraderie in the band world,” said Greg Wells, Northview’s band director. “We’re happy if other people are doing great.”
Marc Townley, Byron Center High School’s marching/fine arts director, said he didn’t hesitate to loan the school’s drum line instruments.
“From a band director’s standpoint, not having all a band’s instruments can be pretty stressful,” he said. “We’re pretty close in the band community. I know Greg (Wells) really well.”