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2013 cruise

July 16, 2012 by Loretta Cantey Conyers (Register to contact)

To protect privacy, contact info has been removed from this post. Register to see the original with contact info.

Please join us in 2013 for a cruise celebrating all that will be 60 years old either this year or next year. Contact Elease Fulton or Loretta Cantey ar *****@yahoo.com ASAP. Thank you

Manning High School Band performs in Obama Inaugural Parade.

February 27, 2009 by Rob Thompson (Register to contact)

MANNING — With more than 30 years experience as a band instructor, Ray Francis’s fingers can easily tickle a trumpet’s keys, work a woodwind or finger a flute.

But recently, Francis’s fingers have been tapping on a computer keyboard, searching the Internet for discounted musical instruments for “his kids.”
“Last night, I found some good deals on eBay,” Francis said Monday as he watched “his kids” — the 85 members of the Manning High School band — stride around the school parking lot. “I need to buy a whole new drum line.”

The pressure is on as Francis and the Manning High Band are the only S.C. group picked to participate in President-elect Barack Obama’s inaugural parade in Washington D.C. next month. They leave for the nation’s capital Jan. 18.

In between marathon practices — including ones during the holiday vacation — the students and Francis are working to raise the $40,128 to make the trip.

Thanks to a bake sale as well as the generosity of church groups, businesses and lots of strangers, they’ve raised about half of the amount needed thus far.

“Most of my kids come from single (parent) homes and a lot of them (qualify for) free and reduced-priced lunch so they can’t put much money into it,” Francis said, who has been the school’s band instructor for three years. “I’m hoping that everyone in South Carolina will step up and help.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids.”

Donations are going toward the trip but Francis is quietly keeping his fingers crossed that they’ll be enough to also replace some of the band’s instruments, especially the sousaphones, which are held together with duct tape.

“That won’t look good on national TV,” Francis said, noting a new sousaphone costs about $5,000.

Several students like Kevin Levy are lucky enough to own their own instruments.

For his 18th birthday in October, his parents surprised him with a new saxophone, replacing the one he’d played since 4th grade.

“I love it,” said Levy, who hopes to earn a music scholarship to college next year. “I play it every Sunday in church.”

Whether equipped with new instruments or old ones, band members don’t seem to mind. And they don’t seem to mind the 30-degree temperatures during rehearsals either. Or the long practices with no lunch break while their classmates are on winter break.

They’re starry eyed over getting to play at all.
“People look down on us because we’re a small band. Because we’re a primarily black band,” said Candace Mack, a senior clarinet player who will attend Atlanta’s Georgia State University in the fall. “For someone from the outside to look out at all of the bands and choose us, it’s amazing.”

The day Francis got the news the band had been selected to participate in the parade, Kendra Neal, a junior flutist, was home sick.

“My phone started ringing and ringing. It was other band members telling me we’d made it, that we were going to D.C.,” she said. “I couldn’t believe it. Our band over all the other bands? It’s so exciting. And we’re such a little town.”

“I was so excited I got out of bed and came to band practice that afternoon anyway,” she said.

The inaugural parade will mark the fourth time Manning has performed for Obama.

The band plans to play the “The Final Countdown,” one of Obama’s favorites. At least that’s what an Obama staff member told Francis the last time the band played for the president elect.

Leading up to his S.C. primary win last January, the students played at several Obama events including the Oprah Winfrey rally in Columbia.

“(Obama) shook hands with all of the kids and talked to them,” Francis said. “He was so good to them and took pictures with them. He got my vote right then.”

Manning High School News From Around The Web

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Manning hires West as football coach, AD  SCNow

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Manning girls scratch out 39-38 win over Lakewood  Sumter Item

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SC student arrested after he chased classmates with knife  WACH

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2017 Clarendon's Best Coach: Kay Young  Manning Live

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Under the lights  Sumter Item

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Ned Darley, Glenn Murray and Fred Gamble were each interested Friday as the first day of the Major League Baseball draft got underway. All three former ...



Former Manning Police Chief Shaffer granted a continuance in his trial until July  Sumter Item

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Gilmore's 41 leads Clarendon Hall to victory  Sumter Item

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Crestwood High student specifies teachers, student to kill in anonymous note  Sumter Item

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'It is a thing of beauty' | The Sumter Item  Sumter Item

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Emanuel G. McCray, 2016 Green Party mayoral candidate, dies  Baltimore Sun

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Sumter, Manning play to 14-14 tie  Sumter Item

To Manning High head coach Keith West, Friday night certainly felt like a whole game – even though it was just a half. The former Sumter High state ...



Thomas Bell Jr.  Manning Live

Thomas Bell Jr., 50, husband of Stacy Bell, died Saturday, October 28, 2017, at the Medical University of South Carolina hospital in Charleston. Born in Stamford ...



2 Clarendon residents presented with scholarships  Manning Live

Two Clarendon County natives were presented with scholarships at the 19th annual Black River Missionary Baptist Association Educational Scholarship ...



Monarchs edge Knights 21-20  Sumter Item

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FE DuBose students win big at state leadership conference  Manning Live

Seven members of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) from F.E. DuBose Career Center attended the FCCLA state leadership ...



OUR BOYS OF SUMMER: Manning's Murray could mash  SCNow

Like countless other boys, Glenn Murray grew up with a passion for America's pastime and aspirations to one day have the privilege of suiting up in the major ...



Partners focus on student progress: Central Carolina Technical College, Alice Drive Middle School start engineering course for grade 7  Sumter Item

The scene on Wednesday morning in Alice Drive Middle School's library shows we're full tilt into the digital age. A group of seventh-graders came into the library ...



Coach John Franklin Thames  Manning Live

Coach John Franklin Thames, 82, died Friday, November 18, 2016, at his home. Born May 20, 1934, in Alcolu, he was a son of the late Charles Franklin Thames ...



Michael Donald “Mickey” Thomas Jr.  Manning Live

ALCOLU – Michael Donald “Mickey” Thomas, Jr., 38, died Thursday, October 12, 2017, as a result of injuries received in a work accident. Born January 11, 1979 ...



Gunter Sweat  Manning Live

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Saturday Spotlight: Inv. Kenneth Clark  Manning Live

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Rocket scientist Howard Conyers is a barbecue man and now a food show host  Charleston Post Courier

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Summerton woman to serve 35 years for murder of Manning man, co-defendant receives 13 years  Manning Live

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HOWARD J. PUGH  Sumter Item

MANNING - Howard Junior Pugh, 52, husband of Valencia Brown Pugh, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at his home, surrounded by ...



Scout district sponsors camporee; 'atomic veterans' seek help  Sumter Item

75 YEARS AGO - 1944 Aug. 26 - Sept. 1 - Capt. Charles Vincent (Vince) Greffett, who worked for five years at the Palmetto Pigeon Plant before entering the ...



More than 100 people rescued from homes in Summerton  Sumter Item

More than 100 residents were rescued from the West Summerton and downtown Summerton area this morning due to heavy flooding, estimated up to four feet, ...



Reed appointed Clarendon County magistrate judge  Manning Live

Manning High School graduate and Manning native Monica E. Reed is Clarendon County's newest magistrate judge. Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Manning, ...



Antione De'Angelo West  Manning Live

Antione De'Angelo West, 27, fiance of Tykia Lemon, died Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, from injuries received in a wreck in Summerton. Born July 25, 1988, ...



LIST: School District Closings & Early Dismissals  WLTX.com

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Because of the threat of Hermine, all the school districts in the Midlands either cancelled school or will cut classes early Friday.



McDonald named MHS Teacher of the Year  Manning Live

Manning High School teacher Elizabeth M. McDonald interacts with three separate grades every school day. She teaches ninth-grade AP human geography; ...



Education News: May 21, 2017  Sumter Item

Central Carolina Technical College 570 graduates celebrated Central Carolina Technical College held two commencement ceremonies May 5 at the Sumter ...



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