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Howard High School band is back to practice

Drum majors Nikanna Bell (left) and Deveonte Overton lead the Howard High School band through marching conditioning. (Image WTVC)

Practice started indoors for the Howard High School band, and despite a few rain drops, it quickly went outside. This week is the first time since March they have been able to do anything together as a program.

In March, the Hamilton County Department of Education suspended band director Dexter Bell for failing to report child abuse. The band is led by two drum majors. They're happy to back in action.

"Howard marching band is amazing," said Nikanna Bell. "It's an amazing thing and for me to lead it, that's amazing, that's an amazing opportunity."

Alongside her is Deveonte Overton. He was concerned about the future of the program.

"I was, I was" he said. "But I had enough pride that I knew how strong the band is. I do and will hope that my band director Mr. Bell does come back."

Cherilyn Bryant became the school's interim band director about 2 weeks ago. She also wants Mr. Bell to return.

"I just want him to be cleared and get back to these kids," said Bryant. "I don't think it's worth investigating, just my little knowledge of it."

Bryant says she's a former drum major of this band, and adds this program has changed many students' lives.

"I used to be that one kid in the classroom that was quiet and didn't talk too much," said junior Jackie Webb. "But as soon as I joined the band, I started to get more open and open and just started talking to everyone."

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