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Former Chester band director still supporting his old school

  • John Birchler, left, presents a personal check for $500 to Steve Colonel. 

    John Birchler, left, presents a personal check for $500 to Steve Colonel. 
    Jim Beers photo

updated: 6/12/2019 9:25 AM

Former Chester High School band and choral director John Birchler had a nice surprise for current music director Steve Colonel at the recent "High South" fundraiser -- a check for $500 for the Chester music program.

Birchler, who spent part of the day at the Chester Country Club visiting with former students, holds the crown for being the longest band director in Chester at 25 years. Colonel, however, has been the music director for 24 years.

The donation from Birchler was part of a fundraising effort to help support the music arts at Chester schools. Popular country band High South, from Nashville, Tennessee -- with roots in Chester -- organized the High School Golf Tournament to raise money.

Jamey Garner, a Chester native who is one of three musicians in High South, wanted to give something back to the music programs that helped inspire his career.

The golf tournament was Garner's idea, supported by the Chester Country Club, and coordinated by Tom and Sherrie Tindall of the Country Club, along with Steve Colonel and a committee which also included Gwendy Garner and Jim Beers.

Altogether the daylong event raised approximately $6,800 for Chester music programs.