Cloudland High School Band performs dedication to community member Monday

As part of their winter concert Monday night, the Cloudland High School Band used one of their performances to form a dedication to community member Mart Divine at First Baptist Church.

As part of the concert’s dedication to Divine, Connie Royer from Roan Mountain donated several hundred dollars of instruments to the high school band, including Divine’s own tuba.

Lori Pope said Divine’s love for music was what compelled the community to make the donation.

“He had 10 banana boxes of sheet music,” Pope said. “He loved playing the tuba and piano.”

She said Divine’s niece went to Cloudland, and his family has lived in the area for years, and she said this donation and dedication performance was just one way the band could give back to Divine’s family.

“These kids have a lot of spirit, and there is not a whole lot of them,” Pope said. “They are the greatest, proudest kids.”

She said the band’s enthusiasm was gratifying to see.

“There is not a lot of them,” she said. “There are as many in the whole school as I had in my band.”

Despite its size, she said their spirit makes up for it.

“This group has the most spirit,” she said. “They are upbeat and cheerful.”

She said his passion for music was more than just a hobby, affecting his view of the world around him in unique ways.

“He got to make people smile through music,” Pope said. “With it, people can realize there is love everywhere. You can do anything.”

She said this sentiment echoed in the way Divine lived his life. Divine suffered from epileptic seizures for years before his death, but a message his family gave during the concert said his struggles never stopped him.

“To quit or give up was not even in his thoughts,” they said. “Divine would be so proud to know that someone could be given a chance to learn to love and respect music as he did and that his tuba, that he treasured so dearly, could possibly make a difference […]”

Pope said music is at the heart of who Divine was.

“The heart and music take you back to where you are from,” she said.

Above all, Pope said this donation was what Divine would have wanted: to serve his community.

“He wanted everyone to be happy,” she said.

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