David Yarbrough is a man with a vision—to produce a blockbuster feature movie, titled “The Sound of Perfection,” that will benefit music education.
“I’m fighting for this movie not only for great entertainment but also to raise the profile of how important music is in our world,” Yarbrough says. “It should not be something so easily cut from our budget.”
To achieve this goal, Yarbrough and co-producer David Slaughter plan to fill the film with cameo appearances by an A-list cast of popular singers as well as actors who have publicly made music a part of their lives. With the film’s potential success, Yarbrough says he would like to create a foundation to assist schools, educators and students with a variety of musical needs.
“The Sound of Perfection” is based on the true story of Bob Barr and how he inspired students at Jordan Vocational High School in Columbus, Ga., in the 1950s. “The students are dirt poor, can barely read music and left to play mostly junk store instruments,” reads the story synopsis. “But within just a few years, they beat the odds and become the ‘Red Jackets’, the number one marching/symphonic band in the nation in 1952. An astonishing feat considering the nearly insurmountable struggles Bob and these kids have to face. Most of the band members went on to excellent careers instead of dead-end jobs because of the self-esteem Bob and his wife, Annie, instilled in their hearts.”
Yarbrough wrote the script, based on a 1991 Readers Digest article by Dick McMichael. He also interviewed numerous band alumni. “I could tell how deep these emotions ran for people toward Bob Barr and his wife, Annie,” Yarbrough says.
Yarbrough himself has felt the benefits of music education as a piano student several years ago. However, he severely injured his hand in a work accident. “I nearly lost my hand and was never able to go back to the piano,” he says. “In those few short years, it gave me phenomenal insight to the amazing benefits of music and made me see music in a different way … respecting it, loving it. Music is the real magic in the world.”
The film receives support from a number of music organizations including Music for All, NAMM and the National Band Association. “I’m reaching out to every music organization, every band organization, every teacher and getting them in on the ground floor of this,” Yarbrough says. “I’ve felt it’s critical. I want this film to be for all music teachers because I know that this story is repeated across the country every day.”
You, too, can help this film become a reality, with a donation on the movie website, www.thesoundofperfection.com. Supporters who give as little as $25 will have their names appear in the film’s credits. So far, the website has raised more than $21,000 toward a goal of $150,000, which Yarbrough feels can be used to approach some of the A-list actors/singers. The film has a total budget of $14.5 million and will be shot in Georgia.
“This film is about the legacy that music lays,” Yarbrough says. “For every student that takes music, that groundwork has been built, and it’s a legacy that allows these people to go onto more productive lives because of their ability to believe in themselves.”
Note from the Editor: Since the printing of this original article, top music and film artists, such as Amy Grant, Vince Gill and Florence Henderson, have officially endorsed the movie.