London New Years Day Parade 2021!

posted Nov 17, 2018, 4:13 PM by Athens Drive High School Band


Yes!  We’re going to London!

After many YEARS of thought, the booster board, our school administration, and our band staff have decided to take our incredible band program abroad for the first time in the 40-year history of Athens Drive!  We have had the privilege of performing throughout much of the Eastern United States, from New York City to Tampa, Florida; from Indianapolis to Annapolis.  We’ve performed on the nation’s biggest stages including Carnegie Hall and the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s Stadium for the Outback Bowl.  In all these ventures, our parents, students, and staff have pulled together to create successful, positive, life-changing experiences for everyone involved.  It is time to spread our wings further and embrace the challenges of taking this band overseas!

Who’s invited?  1) Our Marching Band will be playing for the famous London New Year’s Day Parade, a two-mile parade that traverses some of London’s most iconic venues; 2) A concert ensemble (comprised of students not in marching band and the oldest of our members) will perform at least 1 concert in one of London’s famous venues; 3) Students who graduate in June, 2020 will be permitted to return and perform! 

It is understood that there will be many new and wonderful challenges embarking on this journey, from fundraising to logistics such as securing passports, airfare, and shipping instruments/equipment, to establishing an itinerary that allows students to travel safely, efficiently, and comfortably.  We will be forming a committee to research, plan and implement all the components involved with this venture.  The good news is that many high school bands have participated in this parade (which is over 35 years old), several of which are from North Carolina.  Also, the folks in London are wonderful to work with!  They are organized, enthusiastic, and very experienced!  I’ve really enjoyed planning this trip over the past few months with them!

We are announcing this trip among our band members and our local community over 2 years in advance in order for our organization to have adequate time to prepare and for everyone to have enough time to raise needed funds (including current 7th and 8th graders headed our way).  The safe target amount for this trip is $3,500 per student.  Our booster board and the London Committee will work to find many different ways for students and families to raise funds—including some “go-fund-me” campaigns.  You may wish to think of it this way:  If every student raises/saves $150 a month for the next 2 years, you are all set!  I realize that this is still a very lofty goal for some; however, we’ve got a great community here to help.  Although it has never been our policy to use operating expense money for trips, we will consider offering some assistance to students/families who have been actively involved in our band’s fundraising efforts.  In other words, if you want to go on this trip, and you believe that you’ll need some assistance, you MUST make a significant effort toward participating in our band’s fundraisers on a consistent basis!

You can expect a good overview and timeline for this trip, including projected dates when moneys are due, in a few months.  We will have a representative from London formally announce this trip to our school most likely during a football game next October.  [They actually come out dressed in “full regalia.”  As the London folks told me, they will NOT look like they’re from America.]  We’ll also be posting a big banner outside under our “HOME of the Athens Drive Band” sign as we did for the Outback Bowl and there will be loads of media coverage!  It’s going to be LIT!

I realize that this is a lot to digest—but it’s all good!  My 33-year experience as an educator has taught me that groups that have a challenging but realistic goal, something to plan for, something to look forward to, are significantly more productive in the long haul than groups that do not.  I’ve also discovered that you cannot “stand-still” in life:  You are either growing or declining.  We have a tremendous, healthy band program here at Athens Drive and it is time to lift it to another level.  With everyone’s help and positive energy, WE WILL DO THIS!   

Ya gotta luv it!

Raleigh Christmas Parade, Marching Band Banquet and More!

posted Nov 13, 2018, 2:08 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 13, 2018, 2:08 PM ]

Dear marching band member and parent,

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information concerning the Raleigh Christmas Parade and Marching Band Banquet this Saturday.  Upcoming events are also listed at the end of this letter.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018

Report & Dress 7:00am

Group Photo in New Stadium 7:45am

Depart for downtown Raleigh (via activity busses) 8:30am

Arrive at parade site 8:45am

Approx. “Step-Off” Time (we are early in the parade) 9:45am

Return to ADHS 11:15am

***Banquet (in cafeteria) 1:30-4:30pm

Group Photo:  Because we did not get the opportunity to have a formal group photo taken during any of our competitions, we wanted to schedule one before the season ends.  We will make this photo available on smugmug.  (Might make a nice holiday gift).

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is a beautiful event, one that our band has marched in since our school was founded over 40 years ago.  The parade is one of the largest parades in the region with over 110 entries.  It is also well attended and televised:  The students will have the opportunity to perform for more people than all our previous performances combined.  But most importantly, it is an opportunity for both band members and families to share another one of those “feel good” moments! 

The parade will begin on Hillsborough St. near St. Mary’s College and move east to the Capitol.  The parade will then trace part of the perimeter of the Capitol, turning south onto Salisbury and east onto Morgan.  At the front of the Capitol, the parade will turn south onto Fayetteville St. where it will continue to Davie.  The total length of the parade is about 1.4 miles.

Our Marching Band Banquet allows us to formally close a wonderful season.  The banquet is “pot-luck;” families should review instructions (posted online and on flyers) concerning what to bring.  Dress for the banquet is semi-casual:  look nice because ALL of you will be receiving recognition!  Students may bring a change of clothes for the banquet and remain at school, or they may travel home to change. 

We will be making some very significant announcements at the conclusion of the banquet involving the following topics:

1) The marching band show theme for next year

2) A trip for this spring

3) A major trip being planned in the near future that is even bigger than the Outback Bowl!

Other information:

1)  Winter Guard & Winter Percussion are presently holding orientation rehearsals for interested students.  Be sure to get on board if you are interested as membership in these outstanding groups will be close in just a few weeks!

2)  Remember to order your fruits and nuts!  (“Orange you glad I reminded you?)  Order forms are due this weekend.

Important Upcoming Dates:

12/1     Apex Christmas Parade 2:00-7:30pm (parade begins at 5:00pm)

*Students are reporting earlier than usual in order to attach lights to their uniform and instruments.  We are going to be really LIT—like the Outback Bowl!  Students are also asked to stay for an extra 15-20 minutes once we return to Athens in order to carefully remove and store the lights.

12/8     Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)

12/20   Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)

Hope to see you along the parade route cheering on our wonderful band!

Central District Honor Band Info

posted Nov 13, 2018, 9:43 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 13, 2018, 9:43 AM ]

N.C. Central District Honor Bands

Auditions:  Jan. 5, 2019 at S.E. Guilford H.S. (Snow Date:  Jan. 12)

Band Clinic/Concert:  Jan. 25-26 at UNC-Chapel Hill

(Snow Date for Clinic is Feb. 1-2

The Central District Honor Bands are the most celebrated honor bands in the area, comprising an 9-10 Wind Ensemble, an 11-12 Symphonic Band and an 11-12 Wind Ensemble.  The competition is quite stiff:  Each year approx. 40 of our members audition; usually about 14 “win” a position in one of the bands. 

The audition site is Southeast Guilford H.S. in Greensboro.  Students must arrange their own transportation.  Students will be assigned a time period (usually 2 hours) during which they will audition.  Students may leave immediately after their audition; results are posted online the following day.

To audition, please complete the attachment below and return it to the band office with your $8.00 fee by Monday, Dec. 3rd (checks made payable to ADHS Band Boosters).  Visit to get information about audition requirements (after entering the site, go to central district information).  Make certain that you can attend the Honor Band Clinic on Jan. 25-26 and that you will prioritize the time to adequately prepare your scales/arpeggios (which MUST BE MEMORIZED IN ORDER) and solo.  Please note that all students must perform their solo for the band director before the audition.  The band director reserves the right to ask a student to refrain from participating if the student is not adequately prepared.

Students who make the honor band will receive additional information about the clinic weekend.  In sum, the Central District Honor Band Clinic will be held at UNC- Chapel Hill. There is a clinic fee of $25 that the selected students will need to pay; however, the band boosters may help with this expense if funds are available. 


Central District Honor Band Audition

(Due Monday, Dec. 3, 2018)

My son/daughter ______________________________ in grade _____ has my permission to audition for the Central District Honor Band on Saturday, Jan. 5 on the following instrument(s) ___________________________________________.  The auditions will be held at S.E. Guilford H.S. and students must arrange their own transportation.  I understand that if selected, my child will be available to rehearse and perform with the honor band on Jan. 25-26 at UNC Chapel Hill.  An $8.00 audition fee per instrument must accompany this form (checks made payable to ADHS Band Boosters).

                                                   Signed _______________________________

A Note for Concert Band Students and Parents

posted Nov 5, 2018, 12:28 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 5, 2018, 12:28 PM ]

Dear Concert Band student and parent,

Just a quick note about your final first quarter grade.
At the conclusion of the quarter, all students completed a "grading rubric" where they recorded a certain number of points for various components of our "class" including their average "weekly grades," completion of scale check-off sheets, rhythm sheets, etc.  When totaled, several of these students did not reach the "A" level (90's) because they probably did not check-off enough of their scales and/or had many rhythm sheets missing/incomplete/or not corrected in a satisfactory manner.  In other words, although their "weekly" grade is high, they hit some "bumps" at the end because they did not submit the final forms (a life lesson here).

All this said, most students were just fine and I'm very pleased with the effort that they are expending.  I believe that most of our students have made significant progress as musicians this first quarter!

I'm always "tweaking" the system trying to find ways in which I can offer a more realistic snapshot of how everyone is doing at any given moment.  

So... if your child's final quarter 1 grade is lower than what the weekly grades add up to being--that's the reason.  Ask them about their scale check-offs...and their rhythm sheets... you'll get the answer!

Again, I'm so proud of all of them and we are beginning to build our program for the Grand Holiday Concert next month.

Thank you for all you support!


Fall Band Concert Thursday Nov. 8, 7pm

posted Nov 2, 2018, 2:53 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 2, 2018, 2:54 PM ]

Dear band members and parents,

The purpose of this letter is to provide information about our annual Fall Band Concert next week, as well as other upcoming events.

Featuring the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble
Thursday, November 8, 2018

6:15pm                        Report:  SB in bandroom; WE in chorus room

7:00pm                        Concert begins
-Symphonic Band
-Tri-M Induction (during intermission)
-Wind Ensemble

  9:00pm                        Concert concludes; reception provided by boosters

 Both the Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble will be wearing formal attire:  Men will wear the tux shirt, tie, and cummerbund with black pants, socks, and dress shoes; Ladies will wear the black dress with black shoes.  Wind Ensemble men will also wear the black jackets (provided by school).

Concert Band students are highly encouraged to attend this performance as most of these students will be in the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble in future years.  It is important to learn and be inspired by these upperclassmen.  All the Concert Band students will receive “extra credit” for attending!

Athens Drive H.S. established a Chapter of the Tri-M Music National Honor Society last year and we are delighted that over 40 of our students are active participants.  These students—in band, chorus and orchestra--have distinguished themselves by their high academic achievement and long-time service to our Athens Drive Music Programs. 

Our Wind Ensemble will be performing the program that they will be playing at our State Music Education Conference in Winston-Salem on Monday, November 12 at 11:00am in the Benton Convention Center.  All guests are invited to this FREE event and I will be sending specific logistical information early next week.  This is an exceptional honor for our band program and school as we had to submit an audition recording that was reviewed blindly by a distinguished panel of music educators.  Even more impressively, this is our 4th performance at this event in the past 12 years!  Our band program is truly a leader in music education in North Carolina!

If you are interested in sponsoring a piece of music on the program, please talk with your son/daughter about which piece you would like to sponsor.  The average cost of Symphonic Band music is $75; Wind Ensemble music is $100.  Just email me if you are interested in this TAX DEDUCTABLE way to contribute to the band and provide a lasting legacy for your child.  If I know in time, I’ll add your name to our program.  Of course, you can also sponsor a work after the concert.  Sponsor names are printed on the archive parts that remain in our library.

It’s going to be another great night for Athens Drive!  I look forward to seeing you Thursday evening!


Upcoming Events – Athens Drive Band Program

11/12 Wind Ensemble performance at the NCMEA Conference, Winston-Salem.

11/17 Raleigh Christmas Parade and Marching Band Banquet

12/1 Apex Christmas Parade

12/8                 Cary Christmas Parade

12/20               Grand Holiday Concert featuring the Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble

Winter Percussion Clinic and Parent Interest Meeting

posted Oct 31, 2018, 7:20 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Oct 31, 2018, 7:20 PM ]

All students interested in participating in the Athens Drive HS Band's 2018-19 Winter Percussion Line are invited to attend the following interest clinics at school to be held:  
  • November 5th 6:30pm-8:00pm*          
  • November 6th 3pm-5:30pm

 *(There will be an interest meeting for Parents on Monday, November 5th at 6:15 pm in the Chorus room.)

  • November 13th 3pm-5:30 - instrument auditions
  • November 20th 12pm-3:30 - instrument auditions  
All interested students, new and returning, are required to attend the introductory/interest clinics as well as the auditions on 
November 13th and 20th. There is no commitment required to attend these rehearsals and they provide an excellent forum for parents and students to ask questions and discuss the season in detail. 

Our Winter Percussion Line rehearses from mid-November through mid-April and performs in a series of competitions beginning in February.

For complete information, including qualifications, attendance requirements, performance expectations, the purpose of orientation/audition sessions, fair share expense and commitment requirements, please see information below:

If you have any questions, please contact Dee Nicol & Robin Groth our Percussion Support contacts at 



The Athens Drive H.S. Winter Percussion Line is the indoor complement to the percussion unit of the marching band, and is a formal part of our entire band program. Like the marching band percussion section, this indoor group auditions students for battery percussion (marching snares, tenors, basses) and front ensemble instrumentation (mallet instruments, timpani, auxiliary percussion). The group is also looking for a drum set player in addition to pianists to play synthesizer. To be chosen as a member of the Winter Percussion Line is an honor and performing as part of this group is a privilege. The group rehearses from mid-November through mid-April and performs in a series of competitions beginning in late February. Any Athens Drive student is welcome to participate (you do not need to be currently involved in the band program); however, the ability to read music is a prerequisite. John Antonelli is the lead staff instructor.

I.  Qualifications

• The Winter Percussion Line is open to all current seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen.

• A positive attitude must be demonstrated at all times as reflected in the quality of the work and the relationships with other members of the unit. Students must be trusted to work independently and be able to work together in small and large groupings. Students must also be willing to spend the extra time required to set-up and store-away equipment used in rehearsals/performances.

• Minimal musical competency includes the comprehension and performance of basic rhythms (subdivision to the sixteenth note and syncopation) in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, 6/8 and cut time meter.  All students must be able to read rhythmic notation; mallet performers must be able to read pitch notation.

II.  Attendance

It is important to realize that because the group is so interdependent (that is, everyone depends on everyone to be there), any absence or tardy hinders the progress of the group.  All percussionists are expected to be at every rehearsal and performance.  The schedule of rehearsals and performances is tentative but fairly accurate; the entire schedule will be discussed in detail during the orientation/introductory rehearsal.

Once the schedule is officially agreed upon and confirmed, conflicts with any of the dates must be presented in writing to both the instructors and the parent advisor(s).  Email addresses and phone numbers will be distributed at the orientation rehearsals.  The instructor reserves the right to prohibit a student from performance due to excessive or unexcused absence.

III.  Performance Expectations

Members will be expected to know the music and choreography before being permitted to perform.  This policy will be enforced in the interest of the individual student as well as the entire unit.  A member who does not demonstrate satisfactory proficiency in performing part of the show may be asked to perform less work.

IV.  Orientation/Audition Sessions

The orientation sessions will consist of sight-reading and exercises related to specific instruments.  Students who have no previous percussion experience, but who can read music, should not be discouraged from participating.  We are especially interested in piano players for mallet instruments.

Instrumental assignments will be determined by the quality and skill of those participating and the needs of the line. 

 V.  Fair Share Expense

There is a “fair share obligation” for participating in the Winter Percussion Line because the program is not funded by the county.  For all instrumental participants, in order to cover the cost of the instructors, music, choreography, competition entry fees, and select equipment, each member will be assessed $745 (additional non-refundable registration of $100 is due at time of registration).  Activity buses and/or carpools will be arranged to offset expenses for travel to local competitions.  Charter buses will provide travel to out of state competitions. 

The total $845 obligation may be paid in full at the beginning of the season (11/21) or may be divided up in the following manner:  $100 on 11/21 (non-refundable registration fee); $190 on 12/15; $190 on 1/15; $190 on 2/15 and $175 on 3/15.  Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need; however, assistance is often contingent on a willingness to participate in fundraising activities and past record of service.  No student should be discouraged to join due to the financial obligation; we will assist every family willing to contribute their “fair share.”

VI. Commitment

Upon deciding to participate in the Winter Percussion Line, each student—new and returning-- must complete and submit the online “Winter Percussion Intent Form” along with a $100 non-refundable deposit by Tuesday, Nov. 20th (checks payable to the Athens Drive Band Boosters).  The form is located on the Forms page of our website ( as well as the Winter Percussion page (located under the Performance Groups tab).  Students/families with a credit in their band account can have this deposit deducted by indicating so on the form.  The $100 registration fee will be applied toward the total overall Winter Percussion Line assessment.

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this letter or our band program, please do not hesitate to contact me (e-mail is easiest).

If you have any general questions about the Winter Percussion program - please contact Dee Nicol or Robin Groth at

We look forward to seeing you at the parent/student orientation meeting on Monday, November 5th.


Cary Band Day Logistics

posted Oct 29, 2018, 9:28 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Oct 29, 2018, 9:29 AM ]

Dear marching band member and parent, 

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information concerning our final competition of the season, Cary Band Day, as well as reminders and updates concerning upcoming events.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018

Report to Athens 4:15pm

Rehearsal in new stadium 4:30pm

Return to bandroom; eat light dinner (on own) 6:00pm
dress/load “Big Blue”                                                 

Inspection (in full uniform) 7:30pm

Depart for Cary H.S. (via activity bus) 7:45pm

Arrive CHS, orientation and warm-up 8:00pm

PERFORMANCE         9:30pm

Award Ceremony 10:45pm                                 

Depart CHS 11:30pm

Arrive Athens Drive 11:45pm

Please note that there are a few different things that we will be doing at this competition because it so close to home:

1) STUDENTS MUST BRING A DINNER to eat after their rehearsal.  [Boosters will NOT be providing a dinner.]  Please keep it simple and nourishing.  As always, students are expected to remain on campus to help load; there is not time to safely depart campus.

2) WE WILL REMAIN IN FULL UNIFORM THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE EVENING.  There will be no need to bring a change of clothes; we will have inspection in full dress and return to Athens in the same way.

We are proud to be a participant of the 60th Annual Cary Band Day.  This competition is quite possibly the most prestigious in the state for several reasons:  1) it is one of the oldest in the nation; 2) it attracts bands of a very high caliber; 3) it occurs late in the season when the shows are complete and polished. 

Saturday will be an exciting day as this local competition attracts distinguished community members and a large number of alumni.  As this event is literally “in our own backyard,” I hope that many parents, alumni, and other Athens fans will come out to cheer on these wonderful students!  Although we perform our field show quite late in the evening, it is thrilling to be able to perform for a full house.  Hope to see you this weekend—let’s fill that greenish stadium with ATHENS BLUE!!!

Important Upcoming Dates:

10/31 No marching band rehearsal!  BOO!

11/6, 7, 8 No after school rehearsals.

11/8                 Fall Concert featuring our Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble (7:00pm)

11/12               Wind Ensemble Performance at NCMEA Conference in Winston-Salem

11/13               No after school rehearsal

11/14 & 15 Christmas Parade Rehearsals 3-5:00pm on Wednesday, 3-5:30pm on Thursday

 11/17              Raleigh Christmas Parade 8:00am-Noon (parade begins at 9:30am)

                        We will be taking a group photo in new stadium before departing.

                        Marching Band Banquet in cafeteria 1:30-4:30pm

12/1                 Apex Christmas Parade 2:15-7:30pm (parade begins at 5:00pm)

                        Students will report early to help affix lights to ALL the uniforms (as we did for the Outback Parade); they will remain on campus for an extra 15-30 minutes to             remove lights.

12/8                 Cary Christmas Parade Noon-5:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)

12/20               Grand Holiday Concert featuring our Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble (7:00pm)

Information about Winter Guard and Winter Percussion is available on our website.  Our Jazz Ensemble (conducted by Dr. Wes Parker) begins in late January (spring semester).  Look for info about this ensemble after the holidays.

NO MB REHEARSALS on Wed. Oct. 31st

posted Oct 28, 2018, 11:52 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Oct 28, 2018, 11:52 AM ]

I have decided to CANCEL our marching rehearsals for ALL students on Wednesday, Oct. 31 (winds, percussion, guard).  The day was originally going to be a workday and I know there are many festivities occurring in the evening in many households.  I believe it would be an all-around safer decision and a REWARD for such outstanding performances this past weekend!  We will rehearse on Tuesday and Thursday as usual.  Our performance time at Cary on Saturday 11/3 is 9:30pm.  Most of your day will be FREE as we will meet at Athens at 4:15pm for a rehearsal.  More information about this event in a few days!

As always, THANK YOU for all you do for this amazing group of kids!

Purchase a Piece of Music

posted Oct 25, 2018, 5:14 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Oct 25, 2018, 5:14 AM ]

Dear band family,
As we are preparing for our annual Fall Concert on Thursday, Nov. 8th (followed by our Convention Performance in Winston-Salem by our Wind Ensemble), I wanted to extend the offer for our families to "purchase" one of our pieces in honor of your child(ren).  Your family and child's name will be inscribed on each music part (where it will remain "forever") and the donation will be noted in our program.  

It would look something like:
Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor
Donated by Jane and John Doe in honor of their daughter Bambi ('19).

It's a win-win because the kids get their name attached to a favorite piece and you are helping the band with expenses.
Plus, it's a TAX WRITE OFF!!!  Just make checks payable to our Athens Drive Band Boosters (our organization is now tax-exempt).

Here' our available repertoire and the suggested donation for each:

Symphonic Band
Illumination (David Maslanka)   $75
Fingal's Cave (Felix Mendelssohn) $60
El Capitan (John Philip Sousa) $60
Jinx (Ryan George) $75

Wind Ensemble
Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor (J.S. Bach) $100
Irish Tune from County Derry (Percy Grainger) $75
Heroes, Lost and Fallen (David Gillingham) $100
Solid Men to the Front (John Philip Sousa) $75
Finale from Symphony No. 2 (Charles Ives) $100

Just drop me an email if you are interested in any of these works.  I love to see all the names in the program (so do the kids)!

Thank you so much!  It's going to be a terrific concert!!!

Porter Ridge and Providence High School Competition Logistics

posted Oct 22, 2018, 12:54 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Oct 22, 2018, 12:55 PM ]

October 22, 2018

Dear marching band student and parent,

The purpose of this letter is to provide information concerning our “double-header” competition day in Charlotte, NC this weekend!  As you will note, the day will run much like our other Saturdays except that we will not be rehearsing before departure and we get to perform the show twice in one day!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Report to Athens 10:00am
Change, load

Inspection in senior lot (in 1/2 uniform) 11:15am

Travel to PRHS via activity buses 11:30am

Eat lunch (provided by boosters) 2:30pm

Store instruments/equipment in semi following performance

Awards Ceremony 5:30pm

Depart PRHS 6:45pm

*Students will remain in full uniform during the awards ceremony and for the trip to Providence H.S.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Arrive Providence H.S. 7:10pm


Change and eat dinner (provided by boosters) 8:50pm

Awards Ceremony 10:00pm

Depart PHS 11:00pm

Important Competition Day Logistics

1) Provided that you come to school with a good breakfast in your stomach, you will not have an issue with food throughout the day.  However, if you want to bring something to snack on for the trip to/from Charlotte, that is fine.

2) The students will be wearing their uniform shoes, black socks, bibs and “Be a Sport” Show Shirt for the bus ride to Charlotte.  Please wear a lightweight type of shorts under the uniform so that you can change out of the uniform outside near our semi-trailer.

3) The boosters will provide TWO MEALS for the students:  First when they arrive on the campus of Porter Ridge H.S., and second after they perform at Providence H.S. 

4) Before we leave Providence H.S., students may change into more comfortable clothes for the bus ride home.

5) This is our LAST BIG TRIP of the season!  Although it is a “hike,” please consider making the journey to Charlotte to root on our band!  Plus, you get 2 performances out of this trip!!!

And remember, WE NEED HELP MOVING EQUIPMENT!!!  Our show is so cool—but there are a lot of “moving parts!”  Thank you so much!

6) You will find the schedule for both competitions attached.


1) We perform at 9:00pm at Cary H.S. next Saturday.  Please, please, please attend this show—and bring guests!  We’ve saved our “home show” for the end.  Let’s paint that “green school” ATHENS BLUE!

2) Our annual Fruit & Nut Fundraiser kicks off today!  Please be on the lookout for information that SHOULD BE brought home by your child(ren).  I know…  We are going to announce a MAJOR TRIP at the Marching Band Banquet on Nov. 17th.  You are going to want to start collecting your pennies!  So exciting!

THANK YOU to everyone who made last week a success!  We enjoyed a wonderful Military Parade at the State Fair, a terrific Senior Night at our last home football game on Friday (and let’s “give it up” to Tyrone and Angelica—our homecoming King and Queen!), and another terrific performance at Western Alamance H.S. on Saturday.  I realize that the “numbers” and the final “rankings” were not what we hoped for, but let’s not forget things that are truly more important:  The audience really enjoyed our performance…from our drum major “football play,” to “We are the Champions,” to the giant golf ball finding the hole.  Our kids performed very, very well—true heart, great enthusiasm, and musical playing!  I am so proud of everyone involved in this organization, which includes our awesome field crew in their youthful-looking athletic jerseys to our “chuck-wagon” team feeding this circus!  What an exceptional team we have!!!   It is absolutely critical that we keep the “big picture” in mind at these events. 

The truth is that ALL of these bands have great kids and do great things on the field.  The “judging” is far from an exact science and no one is perfect.  We are loving the journey and we are growing as people and as musicians.  Please realize that the top bands in each competition are usually only separated by a single point!  (For example, we came in 3rd in class with a score of 89.33.  Second place was 90.00 and first place was 91.13.)  Yeah, that close… 


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