Grand Holiday Concert - Tuesday the 17th

posted Dec 10, 2019, 8:11 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 10, 2019, 8:11 AM ]

HO, HO, HO!!!  Our annual Grand Holiday Concert is next Tuesday the 17th!!!   This is our “grandest” concert of the year, featuring all of our concert ensembles!  It is a concert that draws many band alumni and features many favorite “sounds of the season.”  Despite the many groups performing, the show will move along quickly!  Plus, the concert is FREE and holiday refreshments will be served at the conclusion.  Yum!

Grand Holiday Concert

Tuesday, December 17

6:15pm    Concert Band members arrive at Athens Drive 

6:30pm    Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble arrive at Athens

                - Concert Band warms up in band room

                - Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble warms up in chorus room

7:00pm    Concert begins

9:15pm    Concert concludes/Holiday refreshments served!!!

Concert Band students will wear all black from “head to toe”:  a black collared dress shirt/blouse and black pants/skirt.  We do NOT wear ties.  Students may wear a black sweater over a top of choice; however, please be aware that the stage is often warm.  Students should wear black dress shoes with black socks (marching shoes may be worn if necessary).  For girls, all hems/slits must be below the knee and all shoulders must be covered.  You may wear black leggings if the skirt is above the knees.   Please avoid clothes that look too casual, i.e., black jeans, tee shirts, tennis shoes.  This is a very nice formal event.

Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble students will wear their formal attire (tuxedo/dresses).   

Please consider arriving early with your student as we expect a full house—standing room only!!!  Our hope is that you will leave the concert in the highest holiday spirit!  We look forward to sharing some great music with you! 


Logistics for Cary Parade - December 14th

posted Dec 9, 2019, 3:04 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 9, 2019, 3:06 PM ]

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information concerning the Cary Christmas Parade this Saturday as well as several other “end of season” events.  

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019

Report to ADHS if you would like a formal            10:45am
individual/family picture taken in uniform
with instrument

Report to ADHS if you would rather forego            11:45am
the picture  
shine instruments/dress/load box truck

INSPECTION (in full uniform)                            12:30pm
Depart for Cary (via activity bus)                           12:45pm
Arrive at parade site                                                1:05pm
Parade begins (we are #39/92 in the parade)          2:00pm
Return to ADHS                                                      3:20pm
remove pins/store uniform
Dismissal                                                                 3:45pm

Alas!  The LAST performance of the marching season!  The Cary Christmas Parade is comparable to the Apex Parade in many ways:  It is approximately the same length; the route takes the band through the heart of a charming downtown; and it is usually very well attended.  The parade route begins on Chatham at Circle Drive; turns left onto Academy and ends at the corner of Academy and Kildaire (in front of Cary Elementary).  Additional parade information can be found at  

As the Cary Christmas Parade is the last formal performance of our marching band this season, all uniforms are to remain in the band room and all marching shoes are to be taken home.  Also, please remove all pins because the uniforms will be dry-cleaned before we march in Washington D.C. this May

Keep your fingers crossed as the weather looks iffy for Saturday.  If we decide not to participate in the parade due to adverse weather, we will STILL DO THE PICTURES AT 10:45.  This is an optional, FREE offering… we’ll photograph you in uniform in a rather “professional manner” and give you the opportunity to down load your picture on SmugMug for free.  It might make a nice gift for relatives or just be a nice keepsake.  First come, first serve.  If siblings want to have their picture taken together, that’s cool too!

Although we exchanged many words of thanks at our banquet a few weeks ago, I want to again THANK YOU - students and family members, for being you, and for making our season such a wonderful success!  Our months together were filled with many wonderful memories, great musical moments, and a whole lot of life lessons!  I sincerely hope that our juniors, sophomores and freshmen will enthusiastically return next summer!   


Important Upcoming Dates:
12/13 Fruits & Nuts delivered to ADHS
12/14 Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)
12/15 Dewey’s Waverly Place Caroling 1-4pm
12/15 Little Drummer Boy performance for Ekklesia Church “Movie Night” at 5:15pm
12/17 Grand Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)
12/22 Dewey’s Waverly Place Caroling 1-4pm

P.S.  The Apex Parade was so LIT!!!!  OMG!!!  Thank you to Shayla Michaud and all our wonderful parents for your help!!!  One of the major distinguishing features of our band program is the amount of help our parents provide during performances!  We’ve got the BEST PARENT SUPPORT IN THE COUNTY!!!  Please know how much your efforts are appreciated!!!  We could not be who we are without you!!!

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


All-District Honor Band Auditionees 2020 - Deadline

posted Dec 9, 2019, 3:01 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 9, 2019, 3:03 PM ]

Below is the list of students who will be auditioning for our District Honor Band on January 11th at Middle Creek High School.  Please let me know of any edits IMMEDIATELY as there is a very strict deadline for receipt of names. 

More information will follow...
Thank you!

9-10 Grade

Flute                Rishi Rau   9th
Oboe                Janie Hill  9th
Clarinet            Emma Cockman  10th
Clarinet            Hailey Nguyen  9th
Clarinet            Claire Siegel   9th
B. Clarinet        Will Gerken  10th
Alto Sax            Hailey Nguyen   9th
Alto Sax            Jade Williamson  10th
Tenor Sax        Hugh Bettini  10th
Tenor Sax        Thomas Thornton  10th
Trumpet            Emily Brockmole   10th
Snare Drum      Brady Bittner  10th

11-12 Grade

Flute                Brennan Robbins  11th
Clarinet            Daniel Carter  11th
Clarinet            Ashwath Kapilavai   11th
Alto Sax            Dan Michaud  11th
Alto Sax            Isabel Tabachow   11th
Alto Sax            Will Wakeford  11th
Tenor Sax         Drew King  11th
Trumpet            Ana Altman  11th
                        Ian Chang  12th
Horn                Derek Geiger  12th
Trombone        Kira Williams  11th
Baritone           Jackson Baird  11th
Tuba                Wesley Major  11th
Snare               Parker Dingman  12th

Let's Support Athens Drive Chorus - VOTE TODAY!

posted Dec 9, 2019, 7:17 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 9, 2019, 7:18 AM ]

Please take a moment to vote for Athens Drive Chorus in the WRAL Christmas Choir Competition.  Voting for our category was just announced and we have from 8am to 8pm today to get as many votes as we can!  Encourage your classes to vote also!!!  Please click the link below!

Thanks for the support!
Mr. Michael Santangelo

Apex Christmas Parade Logistics

posted Dec 2, 2019, 1:54 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 2, 2019, 1:55 PM ]

December 2, 2019

Dear marching band member and parent,
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information concerning the Apex Christmas Parade this Saturday as well as several “end of calendar year” events.

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

Report, add Lights, Dress     2:00pm

            2:15-2:45pm  Woodwinds add lights to uniform in cafeteria
            Brass-Percussion detail instruments

            2:45-3:15pm  Brass/Percussion add lights to uniform in cafeteria
    Woodwinds detail instruments

            Guard should see captains as to reporting time; be sure to leave enough time to add lights to poles.

INSPECTION             3:30pm

Depart for Apex (via activity busses)     3:45pm

Arrive at drop off point     4:15pm

Parade begins  (we are unit #50/90)      5:00pm

Anticipated step-off             5:40pm

Return to ADHS     7:00pm

**Detach lights from uniform before leaving ADHS

The Apex Christmas Parade is somewhat unique in that it is held in the evening.  Parading at night through this charming town—with all its store lights and decorations aglow—is really COOL.  Our students love to march in this parade and we hope that you will consider coming out and enjoying the atmosphere!

NEW:  We are going to light up the uniforms like we did for the Outback Bowl Parade.  In order to make this work, we are asking all students to report at 2:00pm so that we can attach lights to uniforms and instruments in a careful manner.  Students will be asked to remain at ADHS following the parade to remove the lights from their uniform.  Anticipated pick-up time will be 7:30pm.

The parade route begins on the corner of Apex Peakway and Salem streets, passes through the downtown area, and finishes at W. Moore Street.  The entire route is about ½ mile in length.  

Special thanks!
I just wanted to take a moment to THANK YOU for such a wonderful season and for the generous gifts presented to me and my family at the banquet.  Being a career teacher has many intangible rewards—having the privilege of working with all of you is the one I cherish most!

Important Upcoming Dates:

12/7     Horns-A-Plenty at Music & Arts Store in Crossroads beginning at 10:00 am
Upgrade your instrument!!!

12/8     Dewey’s Waverly Place Caroling 1-4pm

12/9     All-District Honor Band Audition form and fee due

12/13   Fruits & Nuts delivered to ADHS

12/14   Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)

12/15   Dewey’s Waverly Place Caroling 1-4pm

12/15   Little Drummer Boy performance for Ekklesia Church “Movie Night” at 5:15pm

12/17   Grand Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)

12/22   Dewey’s Waverly Place Caroling 1-4pm

Hope to see you along the parade route cheering on our wonderful band!
We are going to be LIT!!!


December Parades, Caroling, Concerts and Secret Santa

posted Nov 25, 2019, 2:04 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 25, 2019, 2:05 PM ]

Dear Athens Drive H.S. Band Parent,
There are 15 school days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Break and our band will be very busy "jingle-jangling” in many different ways!  It's really a wonderful time of the year for MUSIC!

1) Our marching band will be performing for the Apex and Cary Christmas Parades on Dec. 7th and 14th respectively.  Information to be sent under separate cover.

2) Caroling before school each morning:  band members in our Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band and Concert Band will be performing holiday carols at 3 different locations in our school between 7:00-7:20am.  See more information below.

3) Caroling at our Dewey's store in Waverly Place:  several of our band members will be performing on the Sundays in December (1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd) from 1:00-4:00pm.  See more information below.

4) Our Drumline will be performing their unique rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy" on Sunday, Dec. 15th at 5:15pm in our auditorium before the movie that our resident church organization, Ekklesia shows each year.  They will also be performing at the beginning of our Grand Holiday Concert on Dec. 17th at 7:00pm.

5) Our Grand Holiday Concert will be Dec. 17th at 7:00pm featuring our Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.  This is our most popular concert of the year!

6) Members of our Concert Band, Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble have exchanged names for a Secret Santa gift-giving throughout the 15 days of December.  Big gifts are given on Dec. 20th--the last day of school before the holidays.

My favorite part of the holidays is the MUSIC...I never grow weary of the little tunes as well as the big ones--like Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival" that we perform at the conclusion of our holiday concert.  It truly is "the most wonderful time of the year."  With all the hustle and bustle that is often associated with this season, try to make time to just ENJOY it!  



The “holidays” are a wonderful time of year for MUSIC!  In fact, can you imagine the holidays without “Sleighride” or “Jingle Bells” in the air?   As “the music makers” I believe that we have a special calling to create this music for as many people as we can, thus we announce our December “Band Caroling” campaign!

1)    From Dec. 2-20 (15 days), from 7:00am-7:20am, we would like small groups of band students to play carols in three locations in the school:  the gym lobby, the library entrance, and the area just outside the main office.  Sign-ups are on the uniform cabinet doors in the band room.

2)    AND…On Sunday afternoons-- Dec. 1, 8, 15, and 22 – we would like small groups of band members to carol outside our Dewey’s Bakery store in Waverly Place from 1:00-4:00pm.  Students may sign-up for a 1-hour slot throughout this time period.

For Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band students, performing 3 mornings before school OR 1 one-hour block at Waverly Place will satisfy the “PLAYING PROFICIENCIES” part of your second quarter grade (because it is chamber music).

For Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band students NOT in marching band and who need Honors Credit work for the second quarter, repeat the amount of playing above:  play 3 more mornings before school or another one-hour block at Waverly Place.

Concert Band students are welcome to participate in any of the above opportunities as well.  You will receive “extra credit” for this effort.

I will also allow our older students to count this type of service as hours toward Tri-M, Key Club, and National Honor Society.

Requirements aside, I want you to experience the JOY in giving music to others!  This is such a wonderful opportunity to share your gifts with others!

Embrace it!

Gotta luv it!  -- Doc

Time To Upgrade Your Instrument?

posted Nov 22, 2019, 5:42 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 22, 2019, 5:42 AM ]

To:  Band members and families

RE:  Upgrading your instrument

This past Tuesday, Nov. 19th a representative from Music & Arts brought out a number of professional model instruments for our students to play.  Many of our students had an “eye-opening” experience realizing how well these instruments sounded and how much easier they were to play!  In addition, the students were able to play with greater volume contrast (hence more expression), a wider range (high and low notes were easier to reach) and more in-tune.

If your son or daughter is still playing on the instrument that they started on, it is definitely time to think about getting them an instrument that will take through their remaining years of high school and beyond.  About half of our graduating students continue to play in college, either in marching band or a concert ensemble!

Many of our older students who own more professional instruments play these instruments in our concert ensembles and use their older instrument for marching band.  A professional instrument will often resell for a price close to the purchase price.  In other words, the depreciation is often not significant if the instrument is properly maintained.

On Saturday, Dec. 7th, Music & Arts in Crossroads is hosting their annual “Horns of Plenty.”  There will be hundreds of instruments available for students to try and many representatives available to answer questions.  In addition, you’ll find the best deals of the year and financing is available.  The event runs from 10:00am-6:00pm.  Our Apex Christmas Parade will require us to be at Athens at 1:30pm, so you still have the entire morning to shop!

Please understand that while I do endorse the efforts of Music & Arts, you are welcome to shop at any music store.  The problems with purchasing a professional instrument online however are several and include the following:  1) the exact same model of instruments are likely to play a bit differently—you want to find YOUR instrument; (seriously—note the serial number!) 2) once you work-in the instrument, Music & Arts will replace it if a glitch develops (in materials, intonation, key action).

Two quick testimonials:  I purchased my son’s clarinet from Music & Arts and within 3 months the wood cracked.  We returned the instrument and received a new one at no extra cost.  I had a student who purchased a tenor sax and after a few weeks just could not get it absolutely in-tune.  He returned it and received another at no extra cost.  We do quite a bit of business with this company and they will treat you well.

So… maybe Santa will consider having a new instrument in his bag?  Because he’s magical, he can even get a tuba down a chimney!                          


Raleigh Christmas Parade and Banquet Logistics

posted Nov 20, 2019, 5:53 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 20, 2019, 5:55 AM ]


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.  PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE LETTER!

Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019

Report & Dress 7:15am

Group Photo in New Stadium         8:00am           

Depart for downtown Raleigh (via activity buses) 8:45am

Arrive at parade site 9:00am

Approx. “Step-Off” Time         10:15am
(we are in the middle of the parade)                   

Return to ADHS 11:30am

***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 smug mug.  (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, eventually turning south onto Fayetteville Street.  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) 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. 

THE WEATHER:  Have you seen the forecast for Saturday?  Ugh!  For the past 25 years, we have enjoyed terrific weather for this parade—really quite uncanny!  And the year that we do a “weather” show…

Although it is my understanding that the parade will go on rain or shine, we may not participate based on the amount of precipitation.  For many reasons including damage to instruments, uniforms, flags as well as the health of our students, we will not march if the rain appears to be steady--even if it is relatively light.  (It is also not fun to stand out in this weather for someone in the audience!)

If the rain is very light and intermittent, we will probably “go for it.”  We will bring rain ponchos that will protect us while we are waiting to “step-off.”  We can either keep them on or remove them shortly before step-off.  (They are not fun/easy to march with and not very attractive…it’s like watching a band of garbage bags marching down the street.).

We may not be able to make this call until Saturday morning…and maybe even after the kids report to the band room…  I will be watching everything carefully and communicating with my colleagues.  From what I can tell, we are all on roughly the same page with regard to performing in adverse weather.  In other words, we will probably not be the only band that doesn’t march if that is the call.  It is also possible that we will forego the photo in the stadium and just go with a later reporting time (probably 8:00am).  In this case, we’ll take the photo before the Cary parade on Dec. 14th.



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 close in just a few weeks!

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

3)    Remember to visit our Dewey’s Bakery Store at Waverly Place!  Yum!!!

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

*Students are reporting earlier than usual in order to take a formal individual picture and attach lights to their uniform and instruments.  We are going to be really LIT in this parade!  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.

12/14   Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)

12/17   Grand Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)

 Hope to see you along the parade route cheering on our wonderful band…in dry weather!

Waverly Place Tree Lighting Now Open to Freshmen

posted Nov 20, 2019, 5:35 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 20, 2019, 5:35 AM ]

Dear Athens Drive Marching Band members/parents,

As we do have room on the 1 activity bus that I am driving, we are opening this event to FRESHMEN marching band members.  Please read the attachment noting that now FRESHMEN may participate.  Sign-ups are on the white board in the band room.  

This should be cool...and "lit.

Thank you,

Waverly Place Tree Lighting Ceremony

posted Nov 18, 2019, 1:27 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 18, 2019, 1:28 PM ]

To:  Senior/Junior/Sophomore Marching Band Students

RE:  Waverly Place Tree-Lighting Ceremony, Friday, Nov. 22, 2019

The administration at Waverly Place has requested that a contingent of our marching band perform for about 10-15 minutes at 6:00pm this Friday, Nov. 22 for the beginning of their tree-lighting ceremony.  As Waverly Place has generously donated the space for our Dewey’s Bakery Store, we are performing this service as a way of saying “thank you;” however, it is also a wonderful way to bring joy to our community!  Students may use this performance as “hours” for Tri-M, Key Club and NHS Honor Societies.

Because we will only be traveling in 1 activity bus (due largely to the logistics of having to arrange for bus drivers), we are going to initially invite only senior, junior and sophomore band members.  Unlike other events, students MAY DRIVE…in fact, there will be 2 sign-ups on our band white board:  one sign-up for students who need a bus ride, and one sign-up for students who will drive. 

Listed below is the schedule that we will follow for the evening:


Report to Athens 4:15pm
 -Change into full uniform

Depart via 1 activity bus/separate cars 4:45pm
 -We are planning 30 min. for travel
 due to congestion on route 1

Arrive Waverly Place 5:15pm
-Warm-up, etc.

Performance 6:00pm

Depart Waverly Place 6:30pm

Arrive Athens Drive          7:00pm

We anticipate a very large audience for this event—so it’s going to be great PR for our band program!  And, because it is a tree-lighting, it’s going to LIT!

Ya gotta luv it!    -- “Doc”

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