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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Over the Rainbow'

Thursday, October 22, 2009

(Photo)
This is a picture taken by a fan of the Northview Marching Knights of the rainbow that appeared as the Knights were about to take the field during regional competition Oct. 17.
The past few weeks have been trying on staff, members and fans of the Northview Marching Knights.

On Oct. 8, one of the band's own, 15-year-old Halie Hite, was tragically killed in an automobile accident.

Following the accident, NMK staff had a tough decision to make.

The Knights were scheduled to perform in the Cavalcade of Champions at Center Grove High School.

Staff mulled over pulling out of the competition and nearly did.

But they didn't.

And they won.

One weekend later, the Marching Knights were to return to action in the Indiana State School Music Association Marching Band Regional at Evansville Central High School.

Again, with heavy hearts, the band pulled together closer than ever before and advanced to this week's semistate competition, scheduled to take place at Pike High School in Indianapolis.

But while marching at Evansville Central, fans, staff and members of the Marching Knights all witnessed a miracle.

As the band entered the field of competition during the regional, a rainbow appeared.

Then another.

The first one was as bright as can be, according to many who were at the event.

Both rainbows dissipated as the band left the field, leaving many to believe Hite was with the band as they competed.

NMK fan Jane Ann Robbins attended the regional contest. In fact, she has followed the Marching Knights for more than 20 years.

"I've always been a band fanatic," Robbins told The Brazil Times. "I'm known as the No. 1 fan in Clay County for the Northview band. I live, eat, sleep and breathe the Northview band. It's just part of my life that I adore."

For several years, Robbins and her husband performed a skit the week prior to the ISSMA State Finals.

However, her husband died three years ago. Still, Robbins puts together the skit.

Robbins, 66, said the rainbow clearly was a sign for the Marching Knights.

"It was so bright and so beautiful," she said. "It was my daughter-in-law that was sitting in front of me and said, 'Oh look,' and there was the start of the rainbow.

"It just kept coming and coming, the rainbow, and it kept getting brighter and brighter."

Robbins said other fans of other bands noticed it as well.

"People in the stands were pointing," she said. "It was the most perfect rainbow I've ever seen. My first thought was, 'It's Halie. She's telling us she's OK and she's with us.'"

Robbins said a Greenwood marching band fan was sitting next to her. As the rainbow continued to shine, the woman told Robbins the Greenwood band had signed a card during the week to give to the Marching Knights.

Then, she started crying.

"It was phenomenal," Robbins said. "I don't think I'll ever witness anything like that as long as I live. It was a wonderful experience. I think these kids feel that Halie is really with them."

Holly Neil is also a NMK fan. Her daughter, Claire Pierce, is a freshman member of the guard and good friends with Halie.

Neil told The Brazil Times as she sat waiting for the Knights to begin competition at the regional -- with other "guard moms" -- they started crying.

"We knew what it was," Neil said. "My daughter said a prayer to Halie (before taking the field) and there was the rainbow.

"It completely lifted the mood of all the band kids. They miss Halie so much."

Northview band director Bob Medworth said NMK staff took notice of the rainbow as well.

"We had to keep going," he said. "But we were all looking around with goose bumps."

Parents in the stands took pictures of the event and immediately posted them online.

On the Northview Marching Knights Facebook site, several fans have gone to the site to comment on the event.

One comment simply stated, "What a beautiful moment."