Archive for Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Marching Chieftains a source of pride


January 10, 2001

How fortunate the city of Tonganoxie and the Tonganoxie school system are to have been represented at the recent Cotton Bowl by the Marching Chieftains.

These 93 young people, their directors and their sponsors deserve special recognition. Not every high school band in the nation and there are many of them is asked to march at a college bowl game. The fact that the Tonganoxie High School band was selected is a testament to hours and hours of hard work.

The band director, Charles VanMiddlesworth II, is a perfect fit for Tonganoxie. His seemingly endless energy and enthusiasm for the instrumental music program in our schools has created a source of pride for people of all ages in our community. VanMiddlesworth is ably assisted by Gordon Lankenau. The two directors' commitment to the Tonganoxie school music programs is commendable.

In just a few years, participation in the Marching Chieftains has growth from 20 students to nearly 100. Being a Marching Chieftain now is the thing to do, and it's clear why.

Not only did the Marching Chieftains work hard on the field and in the music room, they also raised money for their trip to the Cotton Bowl. Parents joined the students in fund-raising efforts, which brought in about $30,000. The Tonganoxie school board kicked in another $8,000 to help with expenses for the trip to Dallas.

By all accounts, the Marching Chieftains were wonderful ambassadors from our community.

We are proud of them, and we are eager to see what the future brings for this school program that clearly is on its way to even greater achievements.

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