London Newscast and Parade Video

posted Jan 17, 2019, 5:40 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jan 17, 2019, 5:40 PM ]

Dear Athens Drive H.S. Band Member and Parent,

The countdown to LONDON has begun!  At 24 months away, the best thing to show you is what the parade looked like this year!  It's a bit like a Macy's parade in that there is a center stage for stand-still performances.  The nice thing is the diversity of the groups in terms of size--they cater to EVERYONE, not just the large groups.  (However, we anticipate taking a fairly large group in 2021.)

I love their enthusiasm and the good-natured vibe of the entire event!  


LNYDP 2019 (Full Show) –

Easy Band Job

posted Jan 15, 2019, 2:04 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jan 15, 2019, 2:05 PM ]

Hi everyone!

I am looking for a parent to simply "sit-in" the band room during our Concert Band Exam Period (Thursday from 11:15 to 2:15).  This will allow me to listen to individual students play musical excerpts in my office.  The job will be "a piece of cake" as the students will be busy doing various written tasks and are basically really good kids at heart.  You can read, do office work, etc.  Your PRESENCE is what will give the room just enough stability to put my mind at ease:)

Just email me if you can help!

Even if you can do it for only a portion of the 3 hours!  

Thank you so much!

Jazz Ensemble, Spring Semester 2019

posted Jan 9, 2019, 2:33 PM by Athens Drive High School Band

JAZZ ENSEMBLE – Spring Semester, 2019

The Athens Drive Jazz Ensemble is a co-curricular group which meets in the Spring Semester and which supplements the music ensemble experience that students receive during the school day.  The Jazz Ensemble provides students the opportunity to perform music in jazz styles and related idioms such as rock and Latin.  The group meets after school 2 days per week (Tuesdays/Thursdays) and performs on school band programs and at local events.  Standard instrumentation is as follows:  alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drum set and auxiliary (such as vibraphone), bass, guitar, and piano.  We will also accept clarinets, baritones (if you read bass clef or are willing to transpose music), flutes (if you are willing to transpose music) and tubas. 

NEW FOR 2019:  The Jazz Ensemble Spring Semester will be divided into 2 sections, roughly by quarter.  The Ensemble will be open to everyone for the 3rd quarter (1/29-2/28), and only a select group for the 4th quarter (3/26-5/9).  Membership in the 4th quarter ensemble will be determined by the director and may involve an audition.  This group will be much closer in size to a “traditional” jazz ensemble:  5 saxes, 4 trombones, 5 trumpets and rhythm section.  It is expected that students who wish to be in the 4th quarter Jazz Ensemble also participate in the 3rd quarter group.

The Jazz Ensemble will be directed by Dr. Wes Parker (NCSU Jazz Director).  There is a $50 fair-share assessment for membership in the ensemble per quarter which covers the cost of guest instruction, music and equipment.  In addition, new students will be asked to purchase the uniform blue dress shirt at a cost of @$18.  We are asking for the $50 assessment by Jan. 31, and the second $50 assessment for those in the smaller ensemble by 3/28.  The fee for the shirt will be due when the shirts become available (most likely mid-February).  The students will wear black dress pants and shoes with the shirt.

Interested students will be asked to “sign-up” on the white board in the band room by January 24th.  Rehearsals will begin on Tuesday, January 29 at which time we will read music and assign parts based on musical maturity. 

Like all of our ensembles, we will enforce the following policy with regard to attendance:

Students are to submit a written request to be excused from any rehearsal or performance.  It is expected that the students will attend every rehearsal and performance unless illness or other emergency prohibits participation.  Any unexcused absence and/or problem with excessive absence may result in suspension from performance or dismissal from the jazz ensemble with no refund of fees. 


Jazz Ensemble Consent
(Due Tuesday, January 29, 2019)

I give permission for my child _______________________________ to participate in the Spring 2019 ADHS Jazz Ensemble.  I have read the attendance and financial responsibilities and will abide by them.


Parent/Guardian Signature _________________________


Athens Drive H.S. Jazz Ensemble
Tentative Rehearsal/Performance Schedule, Spring ‘19

(All rehearsals will be held in the bandroom between 2:45-4:15pm.)

Tuesday, (T), 1/29
Thursday (R), 1/31 - $50 fair share due
T, 2/5
R, 2/7
T, 2/12
R, 2/14
T, 2/19
R, 2/21 No rehearsal due to Winter Chamber Concert
T, 2/26
W, 2/27 Dress rehearsal for Festival Concert 7-9pm
R, 2/28 Festival Concert I 7:00pm

BREAK (for Spring Musical and State Band Festival)

SESSION #2 (for select members only)
3/28 - $50 fair share due
Spring Break Week
T, 4/23
R, 4/25
Sun. 4/28 Performance at Koka Booth Amphitheatre @6:00pm
T, 4/30
R, 5/2
T, 5/7
W, 5/8 Dress rehearsal for Spring Concert 7-9pm
R, 5/9 Spring Concert I 7:00pm

There may be additional performances throughout the Spring; students will receive dates and times when confirmed.


Grand Holiday Concert Next Thursday

posted Dec 12, 2018, 2:09 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 12, 2018, 2:09 PM ]

Dear band student and parent,

Our Grand Holiday Concert next Thursday, Dec. 20th is just around the corner!  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 refreshments will be served at the conclusion. 

Here’s what you need to know concerning the happenings associated with the concert:

Thursday, December 20
6:15pm  All groups report to warm-up
Concert Band in band room
Symphonic Band in chorus room
Wind Ensemble in cafeteria

7:00pm  Concert begins

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

Concert Band students will wear formal black & white:  a white dress shirt/blouse and black pants/skirt.  Guys will be given an orange and blue tie to wear when they arrive on Thursday evening.  (We’ll have some folks around who know how to tie the ties!)  They must also 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.   

Symphonic Band & Wind Ensemble students will wear their formal attire (tuxedo/dresses).   STUDENTS WHO DO NOT ADHERE TO THE DRESS CODE MAY NOT BE PERMITTED TO PERFORM.

Your support means a great deal to the students.  We look forward to sharing some great music with you!


P.S.:  Although it is a “school night,” students and parents are highly encouraged to stay until the conclusion of the program.  Each ensemble is terrific, and the refreshments & comradeship enjoyed after the concert is really special!

Little Drummer Boy--Upcoming Performances

posted Dec 12, 2018, 9:31 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 12, 2018, 9:32 AM ]

To:  Marching Percussion Students

RE:  “Little Drummer Boy” performances

Tis’ the season to be drumming!  (I know, it’s always the season to be drummingJ)  We’ve got 2 performances of our “Little Drummer Boy” scheduled soon:

Sunday, December 16 5:30pm ADHS Auditorium
For Eklessia church immediately preceding the Christmas movie

Thursday, December 20 7:00pm ADHS Auditorium
To open our Grand Holiday Concert

I realize that the first date (this Sunday) is impromptu—giving you very short notice.  I am sorry!  Can we figure a way to make this work?  The second date has been on our calendar since August; hopefully there are no issues with this.

A few details to work through:
1)   When are you going to practice?  45 minutes after school on Thursday or Friday would work!
2)   Who is going to sing?  Is Luke Brocker in town? 
3)   What to wear?  I suggest all black for both performances… Or you can wear the marching band uniform (without hats)
4)   The Sunday performance will count for your chamber music grade if you are in the class bands.

Thank you so much for sharing your talents in this unique way!


Cary Christmas Parade Logistics for this Saturday

posted Dec 4, 2018, 6:09 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 6:09 AM ]

Dear marching band member and parent,

Okay, let’s try this again!  Hopefully the weather will cooperate…but dress warmly!  Forecast is calling for very cold weather on Saturday (low 40’s as daytime highs…brrrr!).  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. 8, 2018

Report to ADHS                                                              Noon
      -shine instruments/dress/load box truck

INSPECTION (in full uniform) 12:45pm

Depart for Cary (via activity bus) 1:00pm

Arrive at parade site 1:20pm

Parade begins (we are #49/96 in the parade) 2:00pm

Return to ADHS 3:30pm

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

Although we exchanged many words of thanks at our banquet a few weeks ago, I want to again THANK all of 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:
12/7     Fruits/Nuts delivered to ADHS
12/20   Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)
*Please consider supporting our Winter Percussion “Go-Fund-Me” as they are trying to raise needed funding to offset expenses for their WGI Dayton Trip.  Info can be found on our band website!

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

Urgent! Marching Band will not Perform in Apex Parade

posted Nov 30, 2018, 5:43 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 30, 2018, 5:43 PM ]

Dear marching band member and parent,

I've checked it once, I've checked it twice...I've even consulted our own Greg Fishel.  Tomorrow late afternoon/early evening looks too promising for at least a light steady rain to be falling.  Add in LIGHTS and woodwind instruments and flags, it's simply too big a risk...  Plus no one really likes to stand in the rain to watch a parade.

So, I've made the decision to CANCEL our participation.  Middle Creek H.S. has already pulled out and I believe Holly Springs will go next...  (yeah, we're all talking...)

At least we've got the Cary parade next Saturday!

Enjoy your free weekend...go to Music & Arts tomorrow for their annual "Horns-a-Plenty" and buy a step-up instrument:)  That's what Santa would say:)

Thanks for understanding!

NC All State Videos (11/12)

posted Nov 28, 2018, 3:53 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 28, 2018, 3:53 PM ]

Even your kids are not planning on auditioning, the videos attached below make great tools for learning more about their instruments and music in general.

Thank you,

From: Eric Millard <>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 11:39 AM
To: Eric Millard
Subject: NC All-State Videos (Grade 11/12)
Dear Band Director,

My name is Eric Millard and I am the new trumpet professor at UNC Charlotte. I am excited to share with you the fruits of a project I have been organizing this semester: NC All-State Performance and Tutorial Videos!

Each of the videos features our applied faculty performing the All-State solos and discussing various components of preparation and interpretation of each work. With many of the works being unrecorded, our goal with these videos is to help students have a reference to model and guide their efforts in preparing their solos. I hope, especially for students that may not have access to private teachers, that these videos will provide assistance and motivation for their preparation.

I hope these videos will be a great asset for your students! Please feel free to share these videos with any students or educators that you think would find them useful.

The links for all of the videos are below:

UNC Charlotte professor, Jennifer Dior, performs and explains the Flute solo for the 2019 North Carolina Senior High All-State Honors Band audition. For more...


We only produced the grade 11/12 solos this year as a bit of a test run, however, we have plans to expand the project to create a complete set for every instrument for next year. I hope that your students find these videos helpful!

Eric Millard

Eric Millard, D.M.A.
Visiting Instructor of Trumpet
University of North Carolina at Charlotte 

Apex Christmas Parade Logistics

posted Nov 28, 2018, 5:13 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Nov 28, 2018, 5:17 AM ]

November 27, 2018

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. 1, 2018

Report, add Lights, Dress                                       2:20pm

INSPECTION                                                          3:45pm

Depart for Apex (via activity busses)                       4:00pm

Arrive at drop off point                                             4:30pm

Parade begins  (we are unit #51/91)                       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 to the band room at 2:20pm.  We will move everyone to the cafeteria and show them how to attach lights to their sashes.  They can also spend some time adding lights to their instruments.  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.  Additional parade information can be found at

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:

12/3     All-District Honor Band Audition form and fee due

12/7     Fruits & Nuts delivered to ADHS

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

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

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

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!

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