Story originally published on Nov. 23, 2016 on nwindianalife.com

On the night of Nov. 13, the Castle Marching Knights Band suffered a tragedy. On the way home from Bands of America Grand National finals, Castle’s singer and flute soloist, Sophie Rinehart, passed away in a car accident along with her father and grandmother.

“It’s very tragic. This was Castle’s first year making it into finals, and instead of getting last place in finals, they got tenth, so they moved up. She did get a good experience before she passed, but it’s still awful,” Nikolas Rivera (11) said.

This accident drew the attention of many people, even the attention of singer Sara Bareilles who’s song “Gravity” was featured in Castle’s show. After the accident, hashtags like #singforsophie and #weareallcastle trended around the band community. Many even wore blue, part of their marching band uniform colors, to show their support.

“I personally think this is a good idea to show support because the band community is a very close one. When we lose one of our own, we all mourn together. I also know how close of a community Newburgh [Ind.] is. My grandma has been telling me about how the entire mood of the community has changed. For such an event to happen to such a young, talented performer is horrible,” Jacob Bailey (10) said.

The Lake Central Tribe of Pride was one of the bands who showed support for Rinehart and her family. At their annual potluck, Jacob Bailey (10) organized something special for Castle.

“Lake Central is going to be making donations towards the Rinehart family. We are also writing letters of support to the Castle band family. We plan to hopefully deliver a picture of our band [wearing blue] down there as well. I want to show Castle and the whole town of Newburgh [that] we are standing with them,” Bailey said.

Bailey plans on delivering these messages, donations and the picture to either the Director or Assistant Director of Castle. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it’s important to remember to not take things for granted, and to honor the memories and people who they have touched.

“Sometimes it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone in a terrible situation like this. When people in this activity are able to come together and show their support and love, it’s meaningful, and I think it’s worth it. It just proves how we should all be thankful for who we have and never take anyone for granted and just cherish the people you have,” Hayley West (11) said.

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