The Evans High School band lost clarinet player Holly Spivey this month when she and her parents were killed in a house fire.
But her memory may play on.
After her death, her family requested that all donations be sent to the band. Band Director Richard Brasco said he initially planned to use the money to help pay for a new wing recently added to the band room.
But Mr. Brasco thought of another way to honor Holly - through music.
He hopes to have an original musical work commissioned in her memory.
Last year, the band presented the piece Legend of the Sword, which was commissioned for them by composer David Shaffer, who worked with the band and conducted the piece's American debut at the their spring concert. The band first played the music at a concert performance in London for the Mayor's Day Parade on New Year's Day.
"When Legend of the Sword was published, it had a story about our band with what we had accomplished printed on the inside cover," Mr. Brasco said. "We could do the same thing - it could have the story about Holly and how her life was cut short by an accident. If it's a really good piece of music and it becomes a classic, it will last forever. We felt that would be a lot more lasting than anything else we were coming up with."
He has contacted Oxford, Ohio-based composer Steve Reineke about writing a piece for the band in memory of Holly. Mr. Reineke has conducted the Warner Brothers Studio Orchestra and orchestrated the original music score for the Cincinnati Ballet Company's original production of Peter Pan.
Mr. Brasco said it will cost about $4,000 to have Holly's song commissioned. The band boosters have about $1,000 in their budget to contribute, and about $500 has been donated to the band in memory of Holly.
After the piece is written, Mr. Brasco said, he would like to have Mr. Reineke conduct it at the band's spring concert in 2004.
Holly, 16, was an active member of the band, and she earned state and Winthrop Honor band accolades for two years. She died with her parents in a fire at the Spivey's Martinez home early Oct. 4. That night, the band wore black armbands for the halftime performance at the homecoming game.
HOW TO HELP
Send donations in care of Holly Spivey to Evans High School Band, 4550 Cox Road, Evans, GA 30809.
Reach Melissa Hall at (706) 868-1222, Ext. 113, or firstname.lastname@example.org.