MELODIC MEMORIES: Alumni band strikes a chord

COLUMBIA CITY — Tonight is homecoming at Columbia City High School (CCHS) and many students will create memories that will follow them throughout their adult lives. But for a group of CCHS alumni, memories of the past will make way for new homecoming memories.For the second year, Helen Hockemeyer, CCHS band director, has organized a band comprised of high school alumni for homecoming night. After last year’s turn out of 16, Hockemeyer decided to put the alumni band together again. Classes represented in the group went as far back as 1950.Last year, Carolyn Hyndbaugh, a CCHS graduate with the class of 1976, participated in the band. Once again, she’ll take the field with the other alumni to partake in the homecoming festivities.“CCHS band alumni have fond memories of being in high school band. It is a team effort to put together field shows, and most members become close friends throughout the experience,” said Hyndbaugh. “Homecoming offers an opportunity for us ‘has-beens’ to come back and feel the excitement of taking the field again.” Hyndbaugh is now the band director at Indian Springs Middle School, proving that past experiences can shape the direction of careers, talents and hobbies.“I often think of Keith Gnagy and Marvin Hall, who were the directors when I was in the Columbia City Junior High School band,” Hyndbaugh said. “I owe a lot to them and their guidance in one of the best activities I participated in as a student. Thank you, Helen Hockemeyer, for providing the opportunity.”This year, the alumni band will join the current CCHS band in the school’s fight song, the National Anthem as well as a selection entitled, “Rock and Roll Part 2.”