Operators standing by: Truckee High band raises funds to hit the road | SierraSun.com

Operators standing by: Truckee High band raises funds to hit the road

Renee Shadforth

Filling six hours of live television is not Lindsey Buchanan’s idea of fun.

“It’s dreadful,” said the producer and scriptwriter for the Tahoe Truckee High School Band Telethon. “When it’s live and we mess up, you’ll know it because it’s live.”

However, Buchanan, a Truckee High senior, knows the funds raised in the telethon are the lifeblood of the Truckee High band tour.

And the tour is her idea of fun.

“You’re on a bus with all your friends. We stay up until one in the morning. We come back with so many inside jokes,” Buchanan said. “You know how people say ‘This one time at band camp.’ Well, we say ‘This one time on band tour.'”

On the four-day tour, the band plays at convalescent homes, a children’s hospital, veterans’ homes, and other places with people who don’t have the opportunity to go out and listen to music. And they play for free.

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“Unlike sports teams, we don’t get extra benefits. We have to pay for food, the bus – everything,” she said.

In fact, the band’s tour budget is so tight they sleep on gymnasium floors and in churches. The tour costs more than $8,000 for the 30-member band. Transportation alone costs $4,000.

That’s why fund-raising events, like the telethon, and are so important.

“We try to diminish the amount the kids put in. The more we raise, the less parents have to pay,” said Maggie Shane, treasurer of Tempo High, the band’s parent volunteer organization.

Last year, the band raised $5,000 from the telethon. Shane said she hopes to at least match that this year.

“I have to be realistic with the economy, though,” she said.

The telethon, which broadcasts Feb. 8 from 3 to 9 p.m. on channel six, will feature taped and live performances by the band and people from the community. Crossroads, a rock band featuring parents of the musicians, will perform live. Also, Stinking Garbage, a group reminiscent of Stomp, will show off their percussion skills on trashcans.

There will be four operators, mostly parents, standing by to take donations.

Another band tour fund-raiser is the annual talent show, which made more money this year than it ever has. Band members showed off their talent to a full house, some people had to stand. The event added $1,800 to the tour fund.

“It’s exciting to know that people in the community support us,” said high school junior and talent show organizer Laurel Barchas. “It really means a lot to the band.”