By John Toole
---- — PELHAM — The town is trying to give Pelham High band director Joe Mundy a chance to borrow Keith Lockhart’s baton and conduct the Boston Pops.
Principal Dorothy Mohr said a parent music booster started the campaign this week to help Mundy win New Hampshire radio station WZID’s contest.
Mundy would get to direct the Pops during their upcoming holiday concert at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, should he prevail.
“This is kind of exciting,” Mohr said. “We’re trying to get the word out to vote for him.”
Community leaders believe Mundy is deserving of the honor for all he’s done with the Pelham band program.
“Joe Mundy has taken that band from a scraggly five people and turned it into over 45 students who love to play and love him,” said Charlene Takesian of Pelham Community Spirit.
Takesian, informed of the campaign, immediately wanted details and asked how should could help Mundy win.
“He is such an inspiration to the kids,” Takesian said. “I can’t say enough about him and what he has done for the music program at the high school.”
But it’s not just the high school crowd enjoying the band.
Pelham Community Spirit invited Mundy and company to play at last year’s Festival of Trees celebration.
“They were a huge hit,” Takesian said.
The group has invited the band to perform again this year.
“It is so heartwarming to see students who want to perform well for their leader and doing such a great job with their instruments,” Takesian said.
The band marches in the Old Home Day parade and plays at football games.
“People just can’t believe how wonderful they have become under Joe’s leadership,” Takesian said.
“Please consider taking a moment to vote for Joe Mundy and encourage others to vote also,” parent Christina Miller posted on the town’s electronic message board. “It would be such an honor for Joe, and our school, if he won this contest.”
About 100 people had viewed her posting by yesterday.
“I couldn’t think of a more appropriate person to represent Pelham High School directing the Boston Pops,” Mohr said.
Mundy, 25, a graduate of Michigan State, is in his fourth year as the school’s band director.
“I find it truly flattering that the community thought of me for this opportunity,” Mundy said. “It’s been a long time since Pelham has had such an active and vibrant music program and it appears the community members are happy about it.”
Conducting the Boston Pops would be exciting and a prestigious opportunity, Mundy said.
“Conducting the Pops would be an absolutely incredible honor,” he said. “Being on stage with one of the top orchestras in the world would be completely surreal.”
Contest voting starts tomorrow and continues through Thursday.
The WZID website said the contest winner will conduct the Pops through a performance of “Sleigh Ride.”
People can vote at: http://manchester.upickem.net/engine/Details.aspx?PageType=VOTING&contestid=110329.