Sci Tech school band reaches documentary fund goal - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Sci Tech school band reaches documentary fund goal

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Inspiring and enthusiastic Sci Tech music teacher, Gary Bernice, leads the band program. (MassLive) Inspiring and enthusiastic Sci Tech music teacher, Gary Bernice, leads the band program. (MassLive)
Producer and director Larry Holt, right, with a videographer from Florentine Films, as they film the documentary during band rehersal. (MassLive) Producer and director Larry Holt, right, with a videographer from Florentine Films, as they film the documentary during band rehersal. (MassLive)
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Sci Tech's band, a program that only had a handful of members several years ago, has grown to more than 500 members and is inspiring students to stay in school and follow through with graduation.

Producer Lawrence Hott, of Florentine Films, is filming a documentary on how Springfield High School of Science and Technology's inspiring band leader, Gary Bernice, has grown the band so rapidly and what the program means to the students enrolled in it.

The company needed an additional $35,000 to finish the documentary, which is why an online Kickstarter fundraising campaign was established

On Wednesday, Big Y donated $5,000, which put donations over $33,000. As of Thursday morning, Sci Tech had reached its $35,000 goal. 

The band not only teaches kids about music and working as a team, but it also gives kids a reason to stay in school and off the streets away from trouble. While the school graduation rate remains at 45 percent, band members who last at least one year with the program graduate at a rate of 95 percent, according to Hott.

“Sci Tech High School's spirited band and its charismatic leader are a ray of hope and a source of pride for a struggling school,” Hott wrote on the Kickstarter page.

CBS 3 Springfield is supporting the Sci Tech school band and its documentary by providing a public service announcement that will run on air and online to promote the cause.

All funds go to Springfield Schools Volunteers, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so all contributions are tax-deductible.

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