When August makes its appearance, school's start cannot be far away and the people of this area recount names like Siedoff, Basil, Goodwin, Caplinger, Channell, Kittle, Baker and Bohon knowing there will be the annual Elkins Bands' Corn Roast in City Park. These bandmasters have made this a "Must-See" Concert for many years and tickets for the event will be sold this week through Saturday's meal for a guaranteed full plate of corn, barbecued beef with bun, baked beans, coleslaw, dessert and beverage that will delight each attendee.
The parents put-on quite a feed for the community who gets a glimpse of their bands - their ambassadors who will visit so many other places and respresent our schools, our town, our communities, our offerings for others' enjoyment and delight. We have a huge investment in making sure they are successful, for many will only know our area by what they observe in our young people.
So, this step-off to their season matters and evaluations are being done not unlike those that take place at the State Fair competitions. It is an intense moment when the band makes its appearance afar having marched across town from the Lohr-Barb Funeral Home staging area. And, the musicians have been trained to look straight ahead and march with precision and elegance and they command a respect that is owed them.
Volunteers check noon-time’s main dish as the corn will be featured. Tickets will be sold throughout this week for the Aug. 16 meal.
The City Park entrance of the Elkins High School Fighting Tiger Band is an annual spectacle as the crowd will gather for two hours to hear this year’s sound.
For this band journey began back in the fifth grade when newly-acquired horns and drums came out of their cases. The squeaky sound and the awkward pounding will probably never be forgotten by their families and neighbors.
The concerts held each Spring, and always a family priority, were also endured with love even if yards went unmowed or government meetings were missed. The family's performer had a show and all who cared about their growth and support for musicianship presented themselves to be part of the applause.
This kind of nurturing is needed and supplied by people who care and see their children as a great asset and investment in our futures. And, it is becoming a more valued commodity in the markets. We tip our hats to those who have given support to these children in their efforts to rise above the norm and dedicate long, hard practice to make something worthwhile and lasting. Music is something that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
The Annual Corn Roast invites everyone in the Elkins Community to be part of the scene. The cost is nominal compared to the wonderful music scores you will hear and the line will form for a noon serving start. There will be no more delicious meal found that day in Elkins.
The drums just sound thunderous as they pass the Henry Gassaway Davis statue beside the Presbyterian Church. Entry into the Park is a very exciting event for both band parents and area attendees. Rank after rank marches on and the sound gets louder and louder. Why would spine-tingling not be the norm?
A champion of education for all children, President Thomas Jefferson, reminds us, "Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits."
The freedom to dominate our town, own the streets, march to excellence, play music that rattles the tree leaves above may be a special kind of happiness you will only know if you are part of the Corn Roast experience in Elkins' historical and beautiful City Park. So, be there for our children and for a brighter day. No doubt, a treasured memory will be taken home with you.