A group of musicians with a long history in the community used a reunion to boost music education and the WHHS Marching Band and its Concert Band. The reunion, held at popular city eatery Randall’s Restaurant, packed in music lovers and raised needed funds for the high school ensemble.
“The night was organized by John McCarthy and Pat Ramano,” said Cathy McCarthy, director of Rock House, a training ground for new musicians in the area.” It was started two years ago as a reunion for a popular local band from 25 years ago called the Savin Rock Band.”
The band consisted of many local musicians over its time active so we thought it would be a great idea to have a reunion. The first reunion was a packed night at Randall’s. Seeing the success, the group decided to use the popularity to give back to the community.
“For the second reunion we wanted to do something positive for our community so we thought to make this a fundraiser for the WHHS Band. John McCarthy has been involved in several Wimbash Festivals that raised money for the WHHS band in the past,” said Cathy McCarthy.
While it was a fundraiser, it was an informal night with volunteers getting donations the old-fashioned way.
“John Merola, Pat Ramano and John McCarthy made donation buckets and they were passed around throughout the night with several parents of high school band students. The Savin Rock Band and Full Wound Sound were the two bands performing. Neither band was paid for the night. It was purely for fundraising purposes. Dan Carr, owner of Randall’s, donated $500 to the cause,” she said.
The Band Parents Association was closely involved with the event, and made sure the students and interested parents were part of the event. Interestingly, the Band Parents Association, which depended on the Savin Rock Festival for much of its fundraising, almost lost out with the cancelation of that event earlier this year. A newer festival, the Shoreline Festival, opens this weekend, and will aid the group in its efforts.
All totaled the one-night music event raised $1,015 for the WHHS Band.
When asked why the two bands took such an interest, Cathy McCarthy said it’s all about the music.
“We are simply local residents that want to help our community. We want to keep music active in the community and help to encourage the children of West Haven to be creative and music is a great path,” she said.