Earlier this month as students returned to school and teachers to their classrooms, Savannah Coone got on a plane bound for Miami. And while football fans everywhere sat eagerly watching the BCS Championship match-up between Alabama and Notre Dame, Savannah stood garbed in Falcon red, one of hundreds of other musicians chosen to represent their schools in the marching band.
With flute in hand, this Allendale senior stood soaking in the moment that was months in the making. In November 2012, Savannah’s teacher, Mr. Bush, nominated her for the All-Star Marching band and told her about the opportunity to apply for admission into the BCS Marching Band under Notre Dame director Dr. Dye.
After sending in recordings of both her marching skills and a solo music performance, Savannah waited nearly three weeks to hear whether Miami would welcome her to the 50-yard line of one of the biggest college games of the year.
When the happy news of her acceptance came, Savannah realized there remained yet another hurdle: money. She dove headlong into fundraising to cover the $1,500 expense of the trip — not including airfare. She babysat for teachers, worked extra hours at her part-time job, and thought outside-the-box to come up with creative ways to plump up her nest egg.
With money in hand and her supportive parents at her side, Savannah journeyed to Miami to do something that few others will ever have the chance to do. Upon arrival in Florida, BCS band members were up at 6 am, marched from 7 am – 12:30 pm, broke for lunch, and then hit the field again for an afternoon practice.
All her hard work paid off when the roar of the crowd swelled at the sound of the music she helped to produce.
“Being on the field and seeing everybody in the stands was an amazing experience. Everything just clicked. One of my best memories was meeting and working with hundreds of other kids who enjoyed the same things as me — who all loved working hard musically. It was awesome.”
Congratulations to Savannah for representing Allendale High School during this terrific opportunity! We are so proud of you!