A Night at the Movies: Good Hope Raider Band and Child Development Center Students Come Together for an Amazing Show

Sharon Schuler Kreps
I loved working with the kids from CDC, I absolutely loved it!”
McKenzie Smith, ninth-grader at Good Hope High


HANCEVILLE – On Saturday, April 16, the Good Hope High School Band and students from the Cullman County Child Development Center took the stage together and performed “A Night at the Movies,” a Disney-themed spring concert at Wallace State Community College. The show was a lot like going to the movies because admission included popcorn (served in a souvenir cup) and a drink. The profits from the night’s event will be split between the two schools after an initial 10 percent is taken from the total and donated to the orphan network of Cullman County.

“Our concert this year is a little different and it has been an incredible opportunity,” said Ty Parker, Good Hope Band director. “Every year we do something different for the concert. This year we wanted to incorporate students from the Child Development Center and so we implemented a Big Brother/Big Sister Program to partner with the CDC.”

Parker began teaching music to the CDC students, a couple days a week for the past six weeks. The Good Hope Band members took their roles as Big Brothers and Big Sisters very seriously by taking their Little Brothers and Sisters and helping them learn the show’s routine. The result was simply magic. A special bond formed and the students became buddies. Their unique relationship could be seen from all over the auditorium as they took the stage and entertained the crowd.   

“I loved working with the kids from CDC, I absolutely loved it,” smiled McKenzie Smith, ninth-grader at Good Hope and member of the band. “They have more abilities than people give them credit for and they are just so sweet. When I first found out we were going to work with them, I was so excited,” she giggled. “They never had the chance to work with people from other schools; it just really amazed me that we got to do it. This has been such a wonderful experience for us and they love it. They have been telling me all evening how much they love it.”

The show contained a variety of acts and different parts of the band participated; some by playing music and others by helping their Little Brothers and Sisters. Happy giggles and genuine smiles came from the audience as they watched a couple of the CDC students hamming it up for the crowd and completely stealing the show.

“Often times, our society forgets that everyone has abilities they can bring to the table,” Parker grinned.

“I’m not gonna lie, when this started I was very leery of what was going to happen, but this process has been wonderful,” said Rebecca Rodriguez, teacher at the CDC. “It has been a blessing for our kids, and I believe for the Good Hope kids. We have been so excited to hear their response to working with our kids. Thank you for raising these awesome kids that want to take part with us. We just appreciate everything Good Hope has done for us and you all have done for us.”

When the show was over, there was a standing ovation, both for the students and for the teachers who put it all together. The Big Brothers and Sisters stood with their Little Brothers and Sisters and giggled, waved and hollered for their parents.

“This has been inspiring; no boundaries whatsoever,” said Chris Chambers, principal at CDC. “It’s amazing what teachers can do when you let them loose and let them go; and what kids can do to bring our kids together and understand them. We have local artists along with our music and art program to put it all together; it’s just amazing to see what can happen. This was the first time I have seen the whole thing. They wanted it to be a surprise, but I have seen bits and pieces. It was a surprise; it did not disappoint at all.”

At the end of the night, many said that Parker’s idea of combining the two school bands was brilliant! Showcasing the students from the Child Development Center along with the Good Hope Band was something truly special.

For a full photo gallery, see http://qrne.ws/cdc.