Grapeland band students honor former band director through annual fundraiser

GRAPELAND, TX (KTRE) - In April, Grapeland band students had to relive the death of their former band director Perry Frank.

Family members said Frank died unexpectedly after a successful heart bypass procedure in June of 2017.

Now almost a year later, the Tyler Police Department has stated Frank could be the second death attributed to former nurse William Davis, who is being investigated for the murder of another patient under his care.

After the news, Grapeland band students wanted to honor Frank through their annual fundraiser.

This weekend, Grapeland band students raised over $13,000 during their spring concert.

"This band has gone through a lot this past year," said band student Blake Howard.

"His goal was to always raise money for the band program because he was so passionate about it," said band student D'Angelo Colter. "If he was still here and we raised this much money, he would've been so happy about it."

Students believe Frank would've been pleased after raising $13,365.

"We usually don't raise half of that," Howard said.

Becky Keisling, the current band director, said all the proceeds will be used in the band.

"Majority of that money will be going to scholarships for the seniors, and it'll also be going towards repairing instruments," Keisling said.

According to Keisling, the band is continuously growing, and the money will be used on new uniforms as well.

"We have 60 uniforms right now and I have 46 in the band and looking at 72 kids next year," Keisling said.

Keisling said the next steps for the band will be preparing for their contest coming up and getting new instruments.

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