ATHENS DRIVE HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
The Athens Drive High School Marching Band is an extracurricular group which performs August through December. Performances include home football games, various competitions and area parades. Practices begin mid to late July and end in November. Performances begin in August and end with area parades in early December.
Our marching band performs a variety of music reflecting the three major roles that we fulfill to our school/community and students:
1) ceremonial/patriotic music (Star Spangled Banner, America, etc.) to fulfill our role as ambassador;
2) pep and spirited music (oldies and current hits) to add excitement to sporting events and rallies;
3) “artistic music” to enhance the music education of our students and audience. It is this music that we play for competitions.
Students interested in colorguard or percussion must attend clinics May. After the clinics, an audition is required for percussion. Specific placement within units will depend on talent/skill level. Woodwind and brass players who have successfully completed 8th grade band in middle school are not required to audition. Students who have not participated in middle school band should contact the band director for specific requirements.
All rising freshmen are highly encouraged to attend one or both of the orientation meetings held in May of each year. [Percussion and guard students must attend these meetings as they are clinic dates.] The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for students and parents to visit our campus, meet our staff and parent boosters, and actually do some rehearsing (wear tennis shoes and bring your instrument).
Summer rehearsals are necessary due to the school schedule and the amount of training/conditioning involved in this activity. Percussionists and guard usually meet 1-2 days per week throughout June and July to learn/strengthen fundamentals. These informal rehearsals are NOT MANDITORY, but highly encouraged. The instructors will provide dates and times for these rehearsals in early June.
Pre-Camp is required for all band members (including percussion and guard) in order to teach/review marching fundamentals and for students to get acquainted with each other and the staff. Band Camp is the most important week of the marching band season. It is an intense week where students focus almost entirely on learning the competition show. The purpose of Post Camp is to reinforce and strengthen skills, movement, and music learned at band camp.
If you would like to participate in the upcoming Marching Band season but cannot attend one or more of the summer rehearsals, please contact the band office as soon as possible. Band camp is the most critical of all weeks; exceptions to this week are made sparingly and are based on musicianship skills and circumstances.
As the marching band receives NO FUNDING from WCPSS, it is necessary to assess a “fair share obligation” for participating in the marching band. In order to cover the cost of band camp, instruments, extra staffing, music, charting, equipment, charter transportation, and other service needs, each student is assessed two types of commitments: 1) a “financial commitment” of $975 ($775 for colorguard), and 2) a “service commitment” of working 6 paid fundraising shifts per family (equal to approx. $180, or approx. $30 per shift). Here’s the good news: fulfilling each service commitment not only meets this obligation, but also earns money that goes directly toward the student’s band account; i.e. by fulfilling the service commitment, families will reduce their “fairshare” to $795 or less. And, families can continue to earn money toward their financial commitment by working at fundraising venues to partially or fully offset the entire amount. Families may also “pay” the entire financial commitment and service commitment out-of-pocket.
The service commitment is easy to fulfill provided that the student and family are willing to participate in one or more of the following group activities: 1) working the concessions at the Durham Bulls Baseball Games; 2) working at the lemonade stands for N.C. State Football Games; 3) working at the PNC Arena for Hurricanes or NC State games; and 4) parking cars at the NC State Fair. Working 6 shifts at any of these events will fulfill your required service commitment AND earn money toward your financial commitment.
Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need. No student should be discouraged to join due to the financial obligation; we will assist every family willing to contribute their “fair share”.
How do I sign up?
Please note that we are requesting that a non-refundable deposit of $75. The $75 will be used toward the overall marching band assessment. Students/families with a credit in their band account can have this deposit deducted by indicating so on the form. Students/families owing a balance on their band account from the previous year must pay the balance in full by June 1st in order to enroll for the upcoming year. Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need.
Because our music and drill is custom written for our band, we must know exact numbers in early June. Students who enroll after the June deadline are not guaranteed a position.
Because the success of a group such as the marching band is contingent upon participation from everyone involved, it is crucial that students be at ALL rehearsals and performances. If you see a serious conflict with any of the aforementioned dates, please let me know in writing as soon as possible. Many circumstances—including doctor appointments—can be adjusted now in order to avoid hindering the progress of over 140 students!
We are proud of the fact that over 85% of all instrumental music students at ADHS (those enrolled in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble) participate in the marching band. We are also excited about the accomplishments of this group. During the past 35 years the marching band has won numerous “First Place” awards, including “Grand Champion” at several prestigious competitions. This is an outstanding music program and we look forward to your enthusiastic participation!
We look forward to seeing you soon!