According to the sweet Citizen-Times video above, the AHS band will be marching before millions, and will pass directly in front of the president. According to its website, the band was one of around 90 groups selected out of 2,807 applicants.

AHS was invited last summer to march in the Presidential Inaugural Festival, but faced a daunting $85,000 fundraising goal for 115 kids/chaperones/directors and their instruments in chartered buses, plus hotel rooms and food for a long weekend in the D.C. area for performances on January 19 and 21.

By December the band was $10,000 short, with not all parents able to contribute and fundraising plans exhausted.

But Asheville stepped up to support our own, and monies were raised to get the Cougar band to D.C. The fundraising continues with a new $90,000 goal to be sure “all costs are truly covered,” according to AHS band director Will Talley.

There are still a few ways to support the AHS marching band’s upcoming trip to represent Asheville and North Carolina before the nation:

  • Dine out at Nona Mia today from 4-6 p.m. and the restaurant will donate 10 percent of all sales on food and drink.
  • Attend the AHS band’s Pre-Inaugural Concert and Silent Auction this Saturday at the AHS Auditorium (silent auction 1 p.m., concert 3 pm, suggested donation $10 at the door), a community sendoff with City Councilman Gordon Smith presenting a city proclamation honoring the band.
  • Dine out at Mela on  Sunday: The restaurant will donate 20 percent of all food and drink sales to the band’s trip.
  • Click on the donation button to donate directly to the band’s expenses:

Citizen-Times article here: Asheville High band preps for inauguration


From a blog post from Tracy Hyorth, a proud Cougar parent:

This story starts with my son, Zach. He is a junior at Asheville High and a proud Cougar Varsity football player. In August, at the first home football game, we heard this pre-game announcement: No matter who won the 2012 Presidential election, one thing was for sure … the Asheville High Band would be in Washington, DC in January 2013 for the parade, the galas, everything.

But by mid-December they were still short $10,000. Unfortunately, not all band parents could contribute enough money and they had run out of planned fundraisers. Band Director Will Talley, with all of his band directing and musical talents, was not sure how to get the word out, nor did he have the time. But he was sure of one thing, “I want no band student from Asheville High left behind.”

Jump to Tuesday, January 8. Following an extensive social media campaign Talley reported, “I’m very, very happy to say we have reached our original lower goal of $85,000 with the help of the social media campaign and community donations that came through on our website via PayPal. No student who wants to go will be left behind.”

The last minute flurry of tweets and retweets raised a total of $10,000 in one month.

“So, we’ve upped our goal to $90,000 to make sure all costs are truly covered,” Talley said.

You still have time to help with the AHS Band 2013 Inauguration Trip Support Campaign by taking part in one of these events:

1) AHS Band’s Pre-Inaugural Concert and Silent Auction is this Saturday, Jan. 12 at AHS Auditorium on McDowell St. The Silent Auction begins at 1 p.m. and the  Concert begins at 3 pm. ( to see a list of items to be auctioned off.) Suggested donation: $10 at the door. This is a community sendoff! Be among the first to hear the Band’s Parade and Festival Concert music. Asheville City Councilman Gordon Smith will present a City Proclamation honoring AHS band, recognizing our Asheville teenagers.

2) “10% Benefit at Nona Mia” Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 9-10 from 4-6pm. Dine in or order out. Nona Mia will write AHS Band Association a check for 10% of all food & drinks sold those nights during these after-school hours. Nona Mia is located at 1050 Haywood Road in West Asheville.

3) “20% Benefit at Mela” the popular Indian restaurant in downtown Asheville on Sunday, Jan. 13. Eat lunch or dinner at Mela the day after the Pre-Inaugural Band Concert and Silent Auction, and Mela will write the AHS Band Association a check for 20% of all food and drinks sold that day. Mela is located at 70 N. Lexington Avenue.

4) Donations are gratefully accepted on the AHS Band’s webpage. Just go to and click on the donation button.

“Please know that the AHS Band Director Will Talley, the band students and the entire AHS and SILSA families are grateful for all of the community support thus far. They look forward to sharing with all this high honor of representing our great state on January 19 and 21.

“We are all proud of our state’s public schools, arts programs, teachers, interns and students. Let’s help Asheville High School get to Washington, DC and be there for ALL OF US,” said Allen Johnson Asheville City Schools Superintendent in an email sent out to Asheville High parents.



One Comment

  1. That’s my Littlest Mini chatting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *