It’s not a coincidence that this year’s marching theme is “Super Heroes”. During band camp each student chose their own super hero name and have been working hard to capture the spirit of Superman, Batman and Spiderman on the field. And while we may think that it takes super strength or flying to be a super hero it might surprise you to know that all it really takes is to have a compassionate heart. The students who make up The Pride of Hennessey not only showed that compassion, but also dedication, honor and as it states in their name, pride.
Right now, the band is going through a difficult time learning to deal with and understand the hardship that Bradley is going through. Not only is this a hard path for Brad, but it is for the Pride as well. It’s not an easy thing to grasp, understanding what it means for someone you care for so much to have cancer. Not at the age of 13…..not at the age of 30. And in the middle of all the emotions, these kids are trying to stay focused to not only keep up with their school work and sports they are also trying nail down a field show and parade marching technique. And they are doing this without a key member of the team. Lingering in the back of their minds while trying to focus on their daily routine is the fact that their friend is lying in a hospital bed fighting an extremely hard fight.
So now, I’m going to brag on these students just a little bit. Last Saturday the Pride had their first contest of the season in Perry. After they got home, they were right back at the band room in the evening, watching film and then hitting the street for more practice. But that’s not all they did. Every section recorded a get well message for Bradley, and every student in each section sent him a message letting him know how much he means to them and that they hope he gets well soon. And through the power of this wonderful invention called the internet and facebook, Bradley was able to see those videos the very next day. The following Monday, the band traveled to the State Fair to compete in the parade, and while the competition didn’t turn out as favorable as the band would have liked, that performance was NOT the most important one of the day. That afternoon, the Pride went to OU Medical Center to visit with Bradley and perform for him. And while he has heard the songs many times, I’m sure that THIS time was, pardon the pun, music to his ears and the most amazing and wonderful performance he had heard this group of kids perform. Adding to how special the event was, Channel 9 news made this the story of the day and Channel 4 showed up at the hospital as well. This performance meant as much to the kids as it did to Bradley.
True super heroes come in the form of woodwinds, brass players, percussionists and color guard teams. They also come in the form of band directors and everyday people who show compassion to those in need of it. We can’t fix the situation, and we can’t be in Oklahoma City every day, BUT we CAN keep posting notes of encouragement on a facebook page. We can record a video and upload it to youtube. We can tie an orange ribbon on the antenna of our car and wear one as a symbol that Bradley is not fighting cancer alone. Most of all we can pray for our friend. It doesn’t take a super power to make a super hero. It takes a compassionate heart, and I’m so proud to be a band mom of so many awesome super heroes hailing from Pride High!