'Jamuary' event raises around $5,000 for Prestonsburg High School band program

Published: Jan. 25, 2020 at 9:39 PM EST
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More than 300 people packed the Mountain Arts Center in Floyd County for the first 'Jamuary' event.

A concert featured multiple bands such as Magnolia Boulevard, Laid Back Country Picker, Down To The River, Luna & The Mountain Jets, Wayne Graham, and Colby O'Bryan.

The money raised will be used to purchase instruments for Prestonsburg High School's band.

Often times, music is a tradition for many in the mountains.

For more than one decade, this piece of history was missing from the Black Cats band.

"It's been 12 years since they have put together a competition marching band or really performed at a higher level," said Band Director Donnie Settles.

The event married the idea of the music of today raising money for the music of the future.

"This event is perfect. It shows kids, this is where the goal is, to perform in public," Settles pointed out.

Settles said he is happy to pass along not only music melodies, but life lessons.

"Taught me how to work hard. (Band) Taught me how to pursue my dreams," said Settles.

The Mountain Arts Center and Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) partnered to make this night happen.

"This is the first of an annual event and all the proceeds tonight go to bringing back the Black Cat band," said Greta Heintzelman Slone.

Heintzelman Slone is the Director of Strategic Communications at BSCTC.

"We believe in Music Education and we believe in the rich talents here in the hills in terms of just natural music inclination," explained Heintzelman Slone.

She told WYMT she is excited to see the impact this event can bring for years to come.

"Initiatives like this or projects like this are a little bit selfish because it feels so good to be a part of it," said Heintzelman Slone with a smile on her face.

Saturday's event raised around $5,000.