Appalachian folk songs and AC/DC will both take over Herndon High School’s auditorium later this month.
The tunes will come courtesy of the school’s band, known as the Pride of Herndon, which will give a free concert on Oct. 30 as a show of gratitude after the community came through during a recent “Tag Day” fundraiser.
Held this year on Sept. 9, the annual fundraiser involves band students going around town to knock on doors, seeking donations to support the school’s extensive musical program.
“We realize there are many choices when it comes to donating, and we are so grateful to our community for their generosity,” Pride of Herndon director Kathleen Jacoby said. “Tag Day contributions help pay for concert programs, music, uniforms, instrument maintenance, invitational performances, and master instructors.”
The celebratory concert will start at 7 p.m. on the school auditorium at 700 Bennett Street. The program will include classical music and the aforementioned folk songs from the wind ensemble, along with pop and rock jams from the marching band.
Fresh off its 75th anniversary season, the Pride of Herndon has more than 100 students across different ensembles, including marching and jazz bands, a symphonic band, wind and percussion ensembles, an indoor drumline and a color guard.
The band is still raising money so students can travel to Waikiki, Hawaii, for the upcoming Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, which commemorates the Dec. 7, 1941 attack that officially pulled the U.S. into World War II. The Herndon High School band was selected to represent Virginia in this year’s parade.
According to a message on the band’s website, it remains $5,000 short of its fundraising goal to cover all travel and shipping expenses.
The annual Herndon Homecoming Parade will return to town on Saturday, Oct. 14.
This year’s theme — which is used to plan floats — is “Through the Decades” with a focus on the years between the 1970s and 2000s.
Residents are encouraged to line up along Elden Street between Locust Street and Lynn Street to cheer on the Herndon High School band, class floats, students, athletes and clubs joining the celebration.
Here’s the schedule for the day, including details on how the event will affect traffic between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and noon.
6:30 a.m. — Locust Street restricted to local traffic only via Center Street; no access from Elden Street.
8:00 a.m. — All side streets with access to Elden Street closed, with homeowner access only. This includes Grace, Main, Peachtree and Ferndale from Vine Street (enter at Center and Vine Streets); and School, Spruce, Lillian Chase, Nathaniel Chase, and Grace from Locust Street (enter at Center and Locust Streets).
8:30 a.m. — Lynn Street in both directions closed; including access from Nachman Way, Dyer Court, and Station Street.
8:30 a.m. — Station Street municipal parking lot entrance at Station Street closed — use the Center Street entrance.
9:00 a.m. — Center Street on either side of Elden Street closed.
9:30 a.m. — Herndon Homecoming Parade BEGINS!
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. — Elden Street from Monroe Street to Sterling Road/Locust Street closed.
Residents in these areas will have local access only. Parking is available in the municipal surface lot Station Street and the Herndon Municipal Center lot.
Routes will re-open between noon and 1 p.m. as the parade clears.
An annual event that brings 35 bands from around the region is coming to Herndon next month.
The 26th annual Showcase of Bands will take place on Sept. 30 at Herndon High School (700 Bennett Street). This year’s event features bands that will perform throughout the day — including the Pride of Herndon, which is set to perform in the middle of the day.
Entry is free for students who wear a Herndon Pyramid school shirt with a paying adult. General admission is $6 for students between the ages of six and 12 and $12 for all others, although children age five and under is free.
Kathleen Jacoby, band director of the Pride of Herndon, said the event will kickstart the marching band season. Bands are expected to come from as far as Shenandoah Valley, according to event organizers.
“It’s such a festive event with all the different show themes and storylines, uplifting music and precision marching,” Jacoby added. “Invite your friends and bring your sunscreen – it’s the perfect outdoor event for a fall weekend.”
Each band will compete with bands of a comparable size. Performances are judged based on music and visual work.
“Showcase is great for camaraderie amongst musicians, and for bands around the state to encourage and support each other” Jacoby said.
Herndon High School’s Pride of Herndon will celebrate its 75th anniversary later this month with a spring bash.
The band — which served as a landmark program in the county — was established in 1947. Since then, the program has ballooned into a program with nearly 200 students.
Here’s more from the program on the band’s legacy and accomplishments:
The Pride was established in 1947 by dedicated parents and citizens who convinced Vladamir Johnson, a Russian interpreter and part-time music teacher from Washington, D.C., to rehearse with a group of fledgling musicians in the rural town of Herndon. At the time of the first rehearsal, most of the students had never seen, let alone played a musical instrument, yet the band’s first performance was a short eight weeks later. Over the years the band program at Herndon High School has grown from the initial group of 40 musicians and 6 majorettes to almost 200 students. The band program has been recognized with countless awards and honors, traveled abroad, and instilled a love of music in countless students.
This year, the program includes 115 students overall, who fill a variety of roles in marching band, symphonic band, wind ensemble and other groups.
Alumni will take part the spring concert, which is slated for May 25. The program is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium (700 Bennett Street). The event includes a work called “Like Diamond, Shine” specially commissioned for the anniversary.
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) A law clerk and former D.C. police officer who also coaches freshman football at Herndon High School has launched a primary challenge against Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid.
Kelvin Garcia announced yesterday (Wednesday) that he will campaign for the Democratic nomination, positioning himself as a more progressive alternative to Kincaid.
“To me, there are two sides right now to the Democratic Party on the ballot this year,” Garcia said, as reported by the Washington Post. “There’s the old-world moderate and the progressive who wants to build a future for everyone.”
In addition to serving as an assistant freshman football coach for the Herndon Hornets, Garcia works as a law clerk for the firm Liberty Legal LC after spending a decade as a D.C. police officer from 2008 to 2019, according to his LinkedIn page.
According to the Post, Garcia decided to campaign for sheriff based on concerns about Kincaid’s management of the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center, stating that he would make the first 30 minutes of inmates’ phone calls to family members free and house individuals based on their gender identity rather than sex.
The sheriff’s office currently classifies inmates based on their genitals.
A transgender woman sued the sheriff’s office in November 2020, alleging that she experienced discrimination and harassment while incarcerated at the county jail. A federal appeals court panel ruled in August that gender dysphoria is a condition protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing the lawsuit to continue.
In a press release issued today (Thursday), Garcia said the county needs to “invest in people as they leave our facilities to break the revolving door that brings them right back” into the criminal justice system.
“Our system has let too many people fall through the cracks for far too long, and these problems start at the top,” Garcia said. “It’s time for a fresh perspective in Fairfax County — a perspective that will support every member of our community and leave no one behind. I’ll be honored to lead that effort.”
The primary election will be held on June 20, with general elections on Nov. 7.
Students swarmed to the front of Herndon High School yesterday (Monday) to protest a pending Supreme Court decision that could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
The group gathered for about a half hour after lunch, filling up a road, wearing the color green to show support and displaying signs that advocated for abortion rights. Slogans included “Keep your laws off my body,” which was coupled with a picture of a uterus, and “My body is not a political playground.”
Students chanted phrases such as “My body, my choice” and used a megaphone that the school provided. Herndon High School Principal Liz Noto gave permission for students to hold the rally, and school staff stood by in case they needed to intervene.
“I’m honestly really surprised,” co-organizer Grace Dowell said. “I didn’t think that this many people were going to come out here and support us today.”
Since Politico published a draft opinion by the Supreme Court on May 2, pro and anti-abortion advocates, elected officials, and the public have been grappling with the potential implications of an end to the court ruling that has upheld abortion access as a right for almost 50 years.
While recent polls suggest a majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, 23 states have laws restricting or banning abortion that are currently in effect or that would take effect if the leaked opinion is finalized.
The tension surrounding the issue played out at Herndon High School when a counter-protest emerged in the middle of the group. Students leading the rally urged those advocates to leave.
Dowell said she hopes legislators and the government in general will pay attention to young voices. She and co-organizer Alissa Huq, also a 10th grader, worked with the student-led organization Generation Ratify Virginia, which is seeking ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, to lead their first rally.
The organization said it helped coordinate demonstrations at 45 schools across the state to demand federal and state measures that will codify Roe v. Wade, including the certification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution.
“I have engaged in countless conversations with students locally and throughout our state, and they long to have their voices respected and acknowledged in the fight for reproductive rights,” Generation Ratify Virginia Policy Director Felix Hedberg said in a statement. “It’s time to listen to youth…Generation Z is ready to capitalize on that attention to ensure Youngkin and Virginia Republicans won’t succeed in rewriting Virginia as a commonwealth against abortion access.”
According to Generation Ratify Virginia, other Fairfax County high schools that planned demonstrations yesterday included Centreville, Chantilly, James Madison, John R. Lewis, Langley, Marshall, McLean, Oakton, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and W.T. Woodson.
Students at South Lakes High School in Reston were planning to participate as well, but their protest has been rescheduled for Thursday (May 12) “due to admin concerns,” Generation Ratify Virginia State Director Abby Garber told FFXnow.
Christa Anderson, a ninth grader at Herndon High, noted that corpses have rights and questioned how pregnant people’s liberties would compare if Roe v. Wade is rescinded. Her classmate Nora Blythe said the potential Supreme Court decision is upsetting but was glad to see the support of students there.
“It’s our future, and it’s going to affect us,” Dowell said. “I want to get that message out there.”
In an effort to curb cell phone use, Herndon High School is implementing a school-wide ban on cell phone and headphone use in all classes.
The policy went into effect yesterday (Monday) after what Principal Liz Noto called an “all time high” of student phone use.
Noto offered an update to the school community about the policy change over spring break.
Students will still be able to use their phone during lunch time and passing times, according to the letter. Once class begins, phones must be turned off and put away.
The school outlined a number of exceptions to the rule, including using phones to monitor medical conditions and specific documented learning needs.
Teachers can also provide students with a five-minute phone break during class and use cell phones for specific learning activities.
Here’s more from Noto’s update:
We want you to know that we value your communication with your child. If you need to urgently get in touch with your child and waiting for the end of the class period or for a five-minute cell phone break during class will not suffice, please call the main office at 703-810-2200 and we will help you reach your student.
Teachers will be following through on this new policy very diligently. It is our priority to engage you student in learning and this is a major step toward that goal. Please help reiterate the importance of this new policy with your student. Thank you for your continued support.
FCPS was not immediately available for comment on the policy, but the school system does let students use their personal devices to access the Internet and collaborate with other students during the day, according to its technology policy.
Phones can be pulled out if teachers allow it.
The policy changed in 2011 when cell phones had to be out of sight at all times.
The change comes as counties across the state embrace the potential advantages of cell phone use in academic settings. Suffolk County, for example, encourages students to use cell phones to access information online and play subject-related games.