Virginia Tech's Marching Virginians to dedicate halftime show to St. Jude Children's Hospital

Band director to retire after 32 years

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Marching Virginians at Virginia Tech have been practicing all week getting ready for a performance connected to a special cause.

They're raising money, honoring St. Jude and their band director all at the same time.

Drum major Jenna Sharer leads her band mates through music and also for a special cause.

She and a fellow drum major were featured in a video to inspire everyone on the Marching Virginians to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"There's a lot of different people in our band that have connections to St. Jude and it's really important to us to all help the kids and pitch in together," said Sharer. 

Another special connection involves Joey Slye, the kicker on Virginia Tech's football team.
His brother was diagnosed with leukemia and was treated at St. Jude. The Marching Virginians say they're all about making a positive impact. 

"Being kind of the figureheads of the marching band, and I think it's important for Jenna and I to go out and promote this great cause," said Eric Chang, a drum major. 

The 332 MVs are each raising $132 in 32 days.

The number 32 also honors David McKee's years of excellence as band director. He's says the Marching Virginians have taught him so much about giving back.

"The band part of this is easy. The people part of this and looking at the greater good and the big picture, to me, is where it's at," said McKee. 

David McKee says he's retiring next year.

"My first year was the year before Frank Beamer got here. Now Frank's retired. I think it's time to stop and smell the roses," said McKee. 

McKee and the Marching Virginians will perform their last halftime show for the year against Duke Saturday.
The band will spell out St. Jude during its performance.