One of the benefits of being a member of the McAuliffe Middle School “Hawk” Band is enjoying the perks that result from students’ hard work and dedication. This semester, band members enjoyed attending the Houston Symphony as honored guests of the Chester Pitts Foundation, an organization founded by former Houston Texan Chester Pitts and his wife, Latoya. The fairytale-type experience became even more meaningful for students with the donation of formal dresses and suits for them to wear, also courtesy of the Foundation.
The students had the opportunity to enjoy the Houston Symphony’s performance of “TV’s Greatest Hits,” directed by Steven Reineke with featured vocalist Nicole Parker from MadTV and Broadway’s Wicked. Following the concert, the students attended a “Meet and Greet” photo session with Pitts, Reineke and Parker.
“This event inspired me and helped me to see what I could become if I continue to play my instrument,” said McAuliffe Middle School eighth-grade flautist, Nehemiah Nelson.
Eighth-grade student Evelyn Rios, who plays clarinet, was impressed by the performance. “It was amazing to see the musicians playing all of the different instruments, which created wonderful sounds,” she said.
McAuliffe’s Head Band Director Jeff Rodriguez felt the event was a huge success. “Our students were able to see professional musicianship at its finest,” he said. “The impact from having experienced the event will have a lasting effect on students. We are already witnessing a change in students’ commitment to music and in their behavior. I am sincerely grateful to the Chester Pitts Foundation for providing our students with the opportunity.”
Chester Pitts (back) is pictured with McAuliffe Middle School band members at the Houston Symphony.
Pictured with Chester Pitts are students (from left) Tamerian Lemons, Tatianna Edwards, Zionna Brown, Lauryn Qullier and Deivyon Mackey.
Actress Nicole Parker visits with students Karina Hernandez, Arlet Orozco, Lisette Duran and Martiza Silva.
Also enjoying the event were band students Franck Guerra, Omari Hawkins, Efrain Ponce and Dylan Lawson.
Students Angel Flores, Alejandro Lopez and Ciriaco Gutierrez also attended the event.
McAuliffe chaperones (from left) included: Walter Benavides, Foreign Language Teacher; Jerrold Smith, Associate Principal; Michelle Berry, Assistant Band Director: Jeff Rodriguez, Head Band Director; and Dave Chappelle, Science Teacher.