When graduating seniors and band students at a Texas high school found out their senior concert was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, they were heartbroken.
So Plano Senior High School’s three band directors did what they knew best: They picked up their instruments, made their way to their seniors’ homes and gave them each a personal concert.
For three days straight beginning Friday, the trio traveled 168 miles from home to home to visit their 85 senior band students. For 15 minutes each, they played the school’s fight song while their students watched in delight from their doorsteps.
“We knew something needed to be done for our seniors who have been in the band program since they were in 6th grade and are now missing out on their grand finale concert,” band director Jason Lewis told CNN.
“Since the concert couldn’t happen, we decided to bring the concert to them to show them how much we love and appreciate them. It was our gift to our seniors.”
Lewis, who plays the French horn, and his two associate band directors, Michael Hernandez on percussion and Mark De Hertogh on the saxophone, did not stop playing until giving each of their kids a solo celebration.
After 22 hours of playing music in sunshine and pouring rain, the three-man band completed their “We Are Plano, We Are Legend” band director tour on Sunday night.
In between music, laughter and a lot of tears, Plano band seniors finally got the proper goodbye they deserved.
“To have my band directors play for me was actually a surreal moment,” David Park, a graduating senior and band member, told CNN.
“For me, the fight song is not only a tune. It’s a song we play after each touchdown. With the fight song comes the exhilaration and pride in being a part of my school.”
While missing out on his senior concert and other band activities, such as the end-of -year banquet was disappointing, Park said his band directors’ efforts have raised his spirits.
“Seeing these kids and seeing how they reacted has made a world of difference for us,” Lewis said. “I promise you whatever joy our kids felt by our visit, we felt that tenfold. We are a big family and it’s incredible to have that sense of love, and none of us will ever forget it.”