Edmond Memorial High School administration is asking for a “Little Help from My Friends” as they join with former grads to “Come Together” to raise money for the Memorial Wireless Initiative that is supposed to be in place by Nov. 1.
For many Edmondites, former Bulldogs or not, a time machine won’t be necessary to go back to the winter of 1964 when the Beatles became the band that changed the face of music forever moving teens across the country from folk music to rock ’n’ roll.
It was a time when Edmond High School, now Edmond Memorial High School, was the stage for bands cropping up playing their own renditions of hits like the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
Sock hops at the gymnasium, dances at the Armory and even fraternity parties at Central State College, now the University of Central Oklahoma, featured music provided by bands with names like the Knights, the Wild Things, the Destinies, Mother Blues Band, Burton Court, Justin Park, the Soul Walkers and others, said Phil Moss, a member of one of those early bands.
Nearly 50 years later, members of those bands are volunteering their time and talent with all proceeds from the concert going to support the Edmond Memorial High School Wireless Initiative.
Memorial has been chosen as the trial school for the district to begin a wireless technology program and the school is hoping to raise enough money to purchase the hardware and software that will be used with the initiative.
The cost to purchase a classroom of 40 iPads is about $27,000, said Principal Debbie Bendick.
“This is just one example of the expense involved in equipping a school with up-to-date technology,” Bendick said. “To date, we have purchased two sets of iPads.”
Former band members who now call themselves the Old Bulldog Band, in honor of their high school mascot, will be playing the great tunes of the 1960s and ’70s as they help raise money for Memorial.
Former graduates and anyone else who wants to relive those days can “Come Together” for the fundraiser.
“The OBB started in 2008 when my brother Greg’s class held their 40th reunion,” said Moss, the band’s director. “He contacted the planning committee and asked if they would be interested in having a live band. To be honest, he didn’t think they were too sure about the idea when he suggested it, but they agreed to have us play a few numbers. He called me and we contacted some of the guys who played in bands with us back in the ’60s. We played that reunion, and it just mushroomed.”
The band has performed for the 40th reunions for the classes of ’68, ’69, ’70 and ’71, the all-’60s reunions sponsored by the class of ’66 last year, the 50th reunion for the class of ’61, and several gigs at the Jazz Lab in between.
“Different players and singers have cycled into the band at different times (more than 25 in all), with members including class of ’64 through the class of ’77 alums,” Moss said.
They include attorneys, a social worker, a banker, business owners and executives, accountants and a university professor. Two graduates have rented the UCO Jass Lab for this performance, said Memorial Assistant Principal Justin Coffelt.
“All of the proceeds will go toward purchasing hardware for our students and staff to use in the classroom,” said Coffelt, a Memorial graduate himself. “We are grateful to these alums who are donating their time and energy to support their alma mater, and we are hoping former grads will come out and support the students.”
The benefit performance will be at the UCO Jazz Lab from 7-10 p.m. on Aug. 19. Drinks will be available at a cash bar and food can be ordered from Hideaway Pizza.
Tickets are tax-deductible and should be purchased in advance by contacting Phil Moss at email@example.com. The prices are as follows: Tables of 4 for $200, tables for 6 for $300, and individual balcony seating at $50 each. Checks are payable to EMHS.
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