Local director remembers taking Hazard Band of Gold to perform for President George H.W. Bush

TRAM, Ky. (WYMT) - The funeral service for President George H.W. Bush brought back special memories for Pauletta Smith, the former director of Hazard's Band of Gold.

Smith remembers taking her kids to Washington D.C. to play for his inauguration in 1989.

She says back then, performing for the president seemed like a dream.

"We never thought that a little band from Hazard would get to do something like that," Smith said.

Though nearly 30 years have passed, she says she is just as proud of her students now as she was then.

"It was an experience that made a difference in our lives and we will never forget it."

Another connection to the Band of Gold at the funeral was the band's theme song, "Friends," played by Michael W. Smith.

"To think that they would sing that for a former American president, it seems like it is pulling America together," she said.

Smith believes her kids were dedicated to making a difference in other's lives through music, including the president's, much like on that special day in history in 1989.

"It makes me feel very honored to know that I was a very small part of that," she said. "But more than anything, it makes me feel very, very grateful that my kids experienced that. And I know that they are watching this also."

As she watched President Bush be honored by his loved ones and country, she said she can only hope that song will keep both he and her former students "close as always."

The Harlan Boys Choir and Corbin High School band also participated in the inauguration.

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