West Virginia’s Musical Ambassadors
West Virginia doesn’t exactly have the best reputation among our nation’s fifty states. It ranks high in poverty and low on education, and since the early 1800’s, Mountaineers have been seen as backwoods yokels who marry their cousins.
“It’s all relative in West Virginia!” a not-at-all subtle t-shirt slogan insinuating West Virginia being home to incestuous families is something you might expect to see in a parking lot at Heinz Field during the backyard brawl against the University of Pittsburgh. These t-shirts were not however shadily sold out of the trunk of a Honda Civic, but on the website of Abercrombie & Fitch.
A politician making a joke about Italian-Americans would never be successful in his campaign for election. A news anchor ranting about his stingy Jewish neighbor would be replaced during the commercial break. But make a joke about the toothbrush being invented in West Virginia because “anywhere else it would’ve been called a teethbrush” and it’s cute. West Virginians, and Appalachians as a whole are the last great minority that it is still socially acceptable to make fun of.
That’s why it’s so important to show the country that something good can come out of West Virginia, show the world that something amazing can come out of Appalachia.
WVU’s marching band, The Pride of West Virginia, Mountaineer Marching Band is one of those things.
Every year, the Pride “takes the show on the road” bringing their music to students around the state and to fans across the country representing West Virginia University and the fine state of West Virginia as a whole. When the band plays its iconic arrangement of “Simple Gifts” it’s as if the whole band is standing up to the world to say “you may think we’re simple, but we don’t…”
The Pride travels throughout the state and region, more than many college bands do, thanks to support from thousands of individual donors throughout the country. While there are certainly folks who donate large sums, there’s a much larger group who send $10-$20 a year, because they feel that the Pride plays an important role in being ambassadors to our state.
Today, September 14, 2011, thanks to a generous partnership with several local Papa John’s restaurants, YOU have the opportunity to support the Pride of West Virginia without even having to do any heavy lifting. Simply call Papa John’s in Morgantown, Fairmont or Clarksburg West Virginia, order a pizza or two or two dozen, and tell them you want to support the Pride of West Virginia. 20% of your bill will be donated to the WVU Foundation’s Pride Travel Fund which underwrites the band’s trips throughout the season.
If you’d like to donate more, or do so directly, you can do so at the WVU Foundation’s web page about the Pride Travel Fund, by clicking here.
Show YOUR pride in the state of West Virginia and show THE Pride of West Virginia some love…