The Burchfield School band consists of 113 members in grades five through eight — nearly 40 percent of the school's student body in those grades.

Two weeks ago, more than 100 students assembled for Burchfield School’s annual winter band concert, performing such Christmas classics as “Jingle Bells” and “Up on the Housetop” for scores of parents and grandparents.

It was a glimpse of how far the Burchfield band program — directed by Cole Hunt — has come in nine years.

Nine years ago, when the school’s band program was launched, there were 17 students enrolled. They met in the visiting team locker room in the basement of the school’s football field house — where there was no air conditioning; just a box fan positioned in front of an open door. They had three broken instruments that had been patched together.

Hunt laughs now as he thinks back to those early days. He’s sitting inside Burchfield’s band room — which is carpeted, designed and built for sound. It’s a far cry from the concrete floors and block walls of the field house basement. As one might imagine, the acoustics in that basement weren’t great. But acoustics were the last of Hunt’s concern back then.

“I was just happy to have a place,” he said.

But, even in the beginning, Hunt was promised by school administrators that the band would have a permanent place once the school’s ongoing construction was finished. So, with a vision, hopes of a better facility and borrowed instruments from Scott High School, the Burchfield band program moved forward.

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The complete story can be found in the December 28, 2017 print edition of the Independent Herald.