South Dade Band Hosts Holiday Musical and Art Festival at Robert is Here


Naomi Howard

Junior Lakeem Davis plays the trombone, festively wrapped in white and red tape to resemble a candy cane for the occasion.

Famously known for their milkshakes and exotic fruits and vegetables, Robert is Here welcomed the South Dade Senior High School band program at their Holiday Musical and Art Festival on Saturday, December 10. Hundreds of customers were attracted and welcomed by the many different activities available at the festival, like raffles, face painting, pictures with Santa, drumming lessons, and more in the hopes of raising funds to reach their goal of purchasing new marching band uniforms.

Starting at noon, the different bands that included the marching band, jazz band, wind ensemble, drum line and sax quartet played a variety of Christmas music while customers were encouraged to browse the different vendors and experience the holiday magic when Mr. and Ms. Claus came in on a motorcycle. The Honorable Mayor of Miami Dade County Daniella Levine Cava also came to show her support to the community where she previously served as County Commissioner and to the Buccaneer Bands. “We care about every aspect of this county, and especially the future,” Mayor Levine Cava said. “The future is our young people, what happens at these high schools is so important, and it’s just great to see young people involved, engaged, and learning skills to keep them moving forward in a positive direction.” She made a donation to help them achieve their goals and encouraged everyone attending to be generous as well.

Heather Moehling, director of marketing and public relations for Robert is Here, whose son is also a member of the band, was enthusiastic about getting the opportunity to help out by supporting and fundraising for the band. “Music programs are such a great thing for students to be able to have an outlet for their mental health, they are something to empower them and boost them up not only academically but mentally as well,” Moehling said. She also felt that hosting the band at the fruit stand was a full circle moment for her and her family. “Robert graduated from South Dade, and my husband graduated from South Dade, so it’s kind of like South Dade has always been through and through with us, and getting to support them in this way has been amazing.”

Through the long hours spent practicing dozens of songs, band members are always appreciative of the experiences they encounter when performing. Senior Gabriela Rodriguez and sophomore Brook Holifield are both in their first year of being in band, and they each are grateful for getting to experience events like the festival. “It was really fun today, we got to do a bunch of different types of music, Christmas stuff and not,” Brook said. For Gabriela, the simpler things are the highlights, like being with friends. “We got to eat some good food, like the nachos, after everything was over with which was pretty nice,” Gabriela said.