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Two Serra Catholic High School band members used their talents to make improvements that benefit the entire group while meeting ongoing requirements to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.
Junior Logan Kearns of Turtle Creek converted what once was the library in the school's friary into a much-needed instrument storage and uniform area, removing stacks and stacks of books, adding shelving and organizing the area for easy access.
“I worked on it over the summer, for four hours on three Saturdays to get it done,” Logan said. The junior said he belongs to Troop 184 out of Monroeville. “I am still in the process of obtaining (Eagle Scout),” he said. “I am very close.”
Drum Major Nicky Stumme conducts during band camp. (David Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)
Sophomore Ryan Gedman of Duquesne said while considering ideas for his Eagle Scout project, he took a good look at the old band tower and knew what he wanted to do.
Used by band director Jesse Bush to oversee formations, among other things, during band camp and practices, the old tower was in bad condition and even had floorboards missing, Ryan said.
“I thought this would be so much help to Mr. Bush,” Ryan said. He is a member of Troop 4 out of Munhall.
He explained together with his grandfather Bernard Rossner, a carpenter in McKeesport for many years, they designed a new tower, complete with a red umbrella topper to keep out the rain and shield from the sun while the band director reviews the musicians.
Ryan had to estimate the cost of all the components as part of his project. The wood alone cost approximately $1,000, he said. The planning phase started at the beginning of the year, with actual construction kicking off daily in July and continuing for a month.
“The day before band camp was our last session and we had it done,” Ryan said, adding there is still more paperwork he has to complete.
Eagle is the highest rank a Boy Scout can attain. Before a Scout can even be considered for the rank, he must earn at least 21 merit badges. Other requirements are creating and completing a project portfolio and undergoing an Eagle board of review before the rank is conferred.
“Both projects are fantastic and really help improve our marching band experience,” Bush said. “The marching instruments and uniforms were stored in the basement. The new room helps keep us organized and offers another rehearsal space.
“The new band tower was also much needed. The last tower was several years old and not very safe.”
Logan Kearns displays the new instrument storage space he created by converting the former library in the friary. (David Adams photo for Tube City Almanac)
Bonnijean Cooney Adams is a freelance writer. A former editor of The Daily News, she worked as a journalist in McKeesport for more than 20 years. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published September 02, 2018.