News of FA band’s gesture spreads across country, world

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

The Forest Area High School Marching Band was recently invited to play at halftime of a Glen Lake football game. The collaboration between the two communities made national and international headlines. A return trip is already being planned.


FIFE LAKE – Brandon Deike, director of the Forest Area High School Marching Band, had never had a message from an athletic director before. Now, he’s hoping for a call from the Ellen DeGeneres Show.

That after the band’s trip to play at Glen Lake on Friday, Sept. 27, made national, even international, headlines.

Apparently, one school without a football team having its band play at another school with a faltering music program is big news.

“We got on CNN,” Deike said. “So, that was cool.

“(And), the story was picked up by AP (Associated Press),” he added. “The stories just kept coming in.”

The story possibly started in mid-September, when school officials decided to cancel the rest of the Warriors’ varsity football season due to a lack of players.

While playing 8-man football, Forest Area started the season with only a dozen players. Recruiting efforts added another two players.

But, there was still concern that having players play so much during a game could lead to potential injuries.

The move canceled more than just a football season. It also canceled the opportunity for the Warriors Marching Band to perform at halftime of home games.

Enter Glen Lake, a school in Leelanau County with a solid football program, but a struggling music and band program.

“I had a message the Glen Lake AD was trying to contact me,” Deike said. “I’ve never had an AD try to contact me.”

Glen Lake officials were hoping that a performance by the Forest Area band at one of its home football games might help inject interest and needed enthusiasm into its music program.

Deike said he could empathize with the plight of the Glen Lake band, with Forest Area Community Schools having cut the district’s music program in 2011 due to both lack of participation and budget reductions.

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