Houston High band competition canceled by ‘White Lives Matter’ rally

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — Houston High School students in the marching band are playing the blues after their final band competition of the season was canceled because of a threat posed by a white nationalist rally near the competition site in Middle Tennessee.

The band was scheduled to compete Saturday at Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro. That's the same day a "White Lives Matter" is scheduled on the town's square.

But members found out through social media that the event and others on campus have been cancelled because of concerns for public safety after a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent.

"Nobody thought that was going to be our last competition. Everyone thought we've got one more," said sophomore bassoon player Colin Cantwell.

The group was planning on taking the field Saturday in the contest of champions band competition, but all of their preparation has been pushed to the side.

"We were alerted on Facebook that the competition had been cancelled by MTSU. They've taken other measures like shutting down their dorms in advance of marches," parent Clint Cantwell said.

Parents say they understand but it's still not an easy pill to swallow.

"From a logical stand point it makes sense to cancel the competition but from an emotional standpoint these kids have put their heart and soul into an extra curricular
activity. Instead they are facing something I personally thought was in America's rearview mirror."

Clint Cantwell says the band is diverse and the last thing anyone wants to do is place band members in harm's way.

What should have been a lifelong memory is now going to be tainted because of these individuals.

Both father and son say they just can't get over the division the rallies have created and something must change.

"These white nationalists coming out and thinking it is okay to walk the streets of America and basically shut down life for the rest of us ...

"It's ridiculous and unfair that everything happened so that a group of people could come in and voice an opinion that I wouldn't say a lot of people  agree with."