By Dave Crawley

BROWNSVILLE (KDKA) — The drumbeat of tradition echoes in a schoolyard at Brownsville Area High School.

The high school/middle marching band will take the gridiron for the season opener Friday night, as it always has.

But this year “always” almost didn’t happen.

A tough economy forced the Brownsville Area School Board to cut the band from the budget. But for these kids and their parents, that would not be the day the music died.

“They thought at first that the band would just go away quietly, and we didn’t,” says Michelle French, treasurer of the Brownsville Area School District Band Boosters. “We did not. And the community didn’t want us to go away quietly either.”

The Band Boosters began a fund raising campaign that raised $3,400 in three days.

“You know, this one knows two people and that one knows two people, and that’s how it is in a small community,” Michelle says. “And everyone rallies around each other.”

Andrew Sabol, who recently earned a master’s degree in music at Duquesne University, has been hired to direct the marching band till the end of the football season.

“I was surprised the community was able to come together, raise enough money for the band to actually happen,” he says.

The Boosters hope the school board will continue Sabol’s appointment through the entire school year.

Meanwhile, band members like drummer Clayton fisher can take inspiration from their community.

“I’ve never seen a community pull together like that,” he says. “Sure, I’ve seen it on the news. I’ve seen it on movies and TV shows, but I never thought I’d be in one of those communities.”

At Brownsville Area High School, the band plays on.

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