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Original piece to honor Baldwin-Whitehall's 75th anniversary

| Thursday, April 30, 2015, 10:54 a.m.

A song that celebrates the Baldwin-Whitehall School District's 75-year history in melodious form will debut on the Highlander stage next week.

Nearly 70 members of the Baldwin High School symphonic concert band will perform an original instrumental song, “A Bond Made Strong,” at their spring concert on May 5. The high school band commissioned the song for the district's 75th anniversary, and this is the first time it will be performed in public.

“In an educational world that's always changing, 75 years of excellence is not something to be taken lightly,” band director Greg Steele said. “We wanted something that would connect with the past, present and future of the district.”

Freelance composer Travis Weller, of Mercer wrote the song that runs 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Funds raised by the Baldwin Highlander Music Patrons and money donated at previous concerts paid for the composition, along with donations in honor of former band director Don Huckle.

Weller began working on the upbeat, fanfare-style song, more than a year ago, he said.

He used Baldwin High School's alma mater as “source material” for the new song.

When composing, Weller said, he also thought of Baldwin's students and the Highlander band's role in the school.

“I was trying to infuse spirit and life into it, just like the students do on a daily basis at the school,” Weller said. “It's thinking about the emotion of the moment and thinking about all of the great things the students have done.”

He made the song upbeat because the 75th anniversary is a celebratory occasion for the district.

“He built a really exciting, energetic piece to accompany the melody of our alma mater” said Steele, who noted he thought about having a song commissioned for the district for several years, and the 75th anniversary was the perfect occasion.

“Music is more than just written notes on a page. It communicates emotion. Hopefully, it will mean different things to different people,” Steele said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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