'Forever Moore' Show Highlights Community Healing

Saturday, October 25th 2014, 11:16 pm
By: News 9

It's been a year and half since a deadly EF5 tornado struck Moore.

The city once again showed its strength and pride, this time with a powerful high school band performance, highlighting the story of community healing.

5/20/2014 Related Story: Ceremony Honors Moore Tornado Victims, Marks 1 Year Anniversary

Hundreds packed the Moore Schools Stadium to see the Southmoore High School Band perform their emotional show titled "Forever Moore."

It coincided with the first annual Community Night in Moore.

"Pretty emotional, those of you who have not seen it, get your Kleenex out,” said Moore Schools Superintendent Robert Romines.

“Said we would be back, bigger, better and stronger, and this is proof and evidence right here on our field.”

Romines made some encouraging remarks along with last year's principals at Plaza Towers and Briarwood Elementary schools.

Southmoore began with the tune "Jesus Loves Me This I know." It's the very song, Mrs. Mayes, a Briarwood elementary school teacher sang to her students on May 20, 2013 as the storms ripped through the school.

In a recording played during the band performance Mayes said, "I am honored to represent all the teachers, who acted with calm and courage in the face of a terrorizing tornado."

The band's "Forever Moore" show represented the emotions of the disaster that affected the entire community. Band Director Adam Mewhorter lost his home in the May 3 tornado and wanted to bring the May 20 tragedy to art.

“We were really worried about that, like should we take this type of topic and put it on the field, but we believe that the marching band was the perfect opportunity because it has a visual component and a musical component, and with the marching band in such a public venue, it really is a perfect way to tell this story," Mewhorter said.

Many Southmoore band members lost their homes last year like saxophonist Anthony Smith.

"It didn't dawn on me how hard it would hit some people just as it hit me I guess,” said Smith, also a graduating senior, who had to move to Norman for year with his grandparents.

“It was hard, but I got through it because of my directors, but it's definitely an emotional show."

There was even an opening video featuring News 9's own Gary England.

"Standing tall, standing proud, all of us are very proud of you,” England said.

With bright gold plumes in their hats, the 215 band members ducked and covered, and paused and played in their performance.

But the part that brought the crowd to a standstill was the dramatic 570-pound red flag that read “Moore Strong.” It cost the band $12,000 and only eighth graders got to roll it out.

"Nobody else gets to pull that flag except for Brink and Highland West Jr. High," said eighth grader Robert Boman.

The Southmoore Band started practicing their show in May and will perform it only a few more times as the football season concludes.

Southmoore is also going to be playing for the Queen in the New Year's Day Parade in England in 2016.

Learn more about the band program.