• Long Beach Breeze

Long Beach High bands book concert for April 29

By Andy Kanengiser

Long Beach band director Mickey Mangum

Gulf Coast music fans are in for a treat. Long Beach High School (LBHS) bands are booked for their spring 2021 concert on April 29.

Bands director Mickey Mangum says he is thrilled to announce the news after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled many musical performances worldwide over the past year. Long Beach band members are eager to perform live once again.

The program is set for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College campus in Gulfport in a splendid new concert hall. The Thursday evening program on the iMPAC campus in Harrison County begins at 6 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.

The new concert venue seats 1,200 people. Given the COVID-19 protocols to limit crowd sizes, up to six hundred people are expected to attend.

Mangum is delighted that audiences will see the talented student musicians perform at the community college along Debuys Road.

“It is an amazing facility, and I think you will be happy with it,” Mangum said in a message to LBHS Band Boosters on their Facebook page. Practice sessions will be stepped up as the concert date nears.

Call it a case of pent up concert demand.

“Please make plans to attend,” Mangum encouraged band supporters, noting the student musicians haven’t performed on stage for more than a year.

Long Beach High band musicians are certainly a talented bunch. In October 2020, several Long Beach trumpet players were selected to perform at Bugles Across America activities.

Across the U.S., students named to the elite group sound Taps at local events and perform at funerals for fallen soldiers and veterans. Long Beach senior Dyllon Hadaway was among those chosen for the honor. Hadaway is a trumpet section leader with the Bearcats band.

Band supporters like Kesha Burnett say they are excited about the upcoming show.

“I am too excited, and we will be there,” Burnett said.

Band boosters like her are sounding the trumpets to let the Long Beach community know about the April 29 concert.

Burnett is proud of her son, Jarren Burnett, 17, a Long Beach High junior who plays the trombone. She says he can’t wait to play his favorite instrument in the new concert hall.

“He is looking forward to a grand time,’’ Kesha Burnett said.

In addition, Jarren suits up (No. 72) during the fall to play on the Bearcats football team.

Working with Band Director Mickey Mangum are a trio of assistants – Zac Cannon, Adrienne Cocco and Chancey Parker. All four Mississippians invest time with students to make the Long Beach High School bands shine bright from one year to the next.

The job as band director never gets old for Mickey Mangum. In remarks published in the Long Beach Bearcats football program, he expressed his gratitude to school administrators, teachers, community members and parents for their generous support of the LBHS band program.

“It is such a joy to work in a location where there is a genuine emphasis placed on fine arts in our schools.’’

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