Hello from Doc!

posted Mar 22, 2020, 6:27 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Mar 22, 2020, 6:28 AM ]

March 23, 2020

Dear Athens Drive band families,

         This will undoubtedly be the first of many regular messages from me over the next several weeks, and perhaps even months.  In this letter I want to provide a bit of perspective that will hopefully ease your concerns.  Like everyone else on this planet, we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, so our most important tools are human instinct and common sense.  As this situation is evolving daily, we need to be as flexible and understanding as possible.  It’s going to be different and we’re likely going to have to let go of some traditions and focus on “what’s important now.”  (WIN)

         What’s important now is YOU…your health, your attitude, and your family.  Please know that you are LOVED by me—and by our entire band family!  We are here for each and every one of you.  If you need anything, have any questions, you can contact me at the email/cell-phone above.  I will try to respond as soon as possible.  I fully anticipate that we will recover from this episode; however, no one knows when.  In the meantime, I’m here for you!

         Secondly, I have not heard anything with respect to how school is going to progress beginning March 30th.  We are on a “teacher workday” period up until that time and have been instructed by our principal not to assign any core material.  This stated, I want you to know that if we can continue with some form of school after April 30th, you will receive credit for any music-making (practicing), music reading (including watching you tube concerts), skype lessons with teachers, etc.  I will provide ideas and resources; however, my intention will be to allow you to customize your enjoyment of music.  If you need to pick up an instrument and/or music from school, we will make that happen (after March 30).  I readily admit that I am NOT an expert in music technology…and even if I was, I doubt whether everyone has the resources to make some kind of “virtual band” work.  I would rather put my energies in providing resources for you and responding to questions, etc.  There is much that can be done in our discipline without relying on technology…in fact, that is one of our strengths!  Please remember MAKING MUSIC is what we do!!!  

         Thirdly, I want you to know that we have formally cancelled the Washington D.C. trip and have been told that the travel company will refund most (if not all) of our fees paid.  We will then refund this money back to you.  Please know that we will be vigilant about this.  As for refunds connected with class bands, winter guard, and winter percussion, the short answer is “we don’t know.”  We’ve got to determine what we are going to do about school for the next 2 months, the health of our finances, what we expect to pay for the summer, etc.  I promise that we will be very honest and will strive to be as equitable as possible.  Please contact me if you have any specific concerns. 

         Fourthly, I have no idea what is going to happen about the summer or even marching band next year.  I’m going to think positive and continue to plan for our best marching season ever.  Our music writer is currently writing our show and we will continue to recruit new members.  We’ll need some time to determine how to do section leader/captain/drum major auditions—that’s for later.  Just know that we are committed to moving forward!

         In the meantime, stay healthy in body, mind and spirit.  Remember the lessons of the Desiderata, namely “Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.”  It may be difficult to state that “it’s all good” or “ya gotta luv it” during this time…but I think we can all count our blessings and come out way ahead. 

         It’s going to be one heck of a special reunion when we all get to play together again!!!


Festival Concerts and MPA next week!

posted Mar 11, 2020, 9:10 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Mar 11, 2020, 9:10 AM ]

The purpose of this note is to remind everyone of the upcoming Festival Concerts, and to provide information about our adjudicated State Festival Performance for our Wind Ensemble.   

Tuesday, March 17:  Festival Concert I

6:15pm        Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble members report to school 

7:00pm        Concert begins

                    - Concert Band

                    - Jazz Ensemble

Thursday, March 19: Festival Concert II

6:15pm        Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble members report to school

7:00pm        Concert begins

                    - Symphonic Band  

                    - Wind Ensemble

Wednesday, March 18:  State Festival-Wind Ensemble at Willow Springs H.S. 

10:30am        Eat lunch; change into concert attire

                       Load equipment truck

11:15am        Group meeting; load bus

11:30am        Depart for Willow Springs H.S.

12:15pm        Arrive WSHS

1:40pm          Performance

3:00pm          Depart WSHS

3:45pm          Arrive ADHS

Both Festival Concerts are FREE with refreshments served at their conclusion.  Concert attire is the same as worn in previous concerts:  all black for Concert Band and tuxes/dresses for Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

As for our State Festival Performance, please be sure to check your calendars carefully and make the necessary adjustments.  State Festival is our single most significant performance of the year (in terms of formal accreditation) as ratings are given and distributed throughout the state.   Also, parents are welcome to attend our performance at Willow Springs H.S.!

Your continued support means a great deal to the students—and me!  We look forward to sharing some great music with you during the upcoming weeks!  

Stay healthy!


Wind Ensemble Performance at MPA

posted Mar 3, 2020, 4:24 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Mar 3, 2020, 4:24 AM ]

Dear Wind Ensemble member and parent, 

I just wanted to give you a "heads-up" that our MPA (Music Performance Adjudication) performance will be on Wednesday, March 18th at Willow Springs H.S. (current home of Fuquay H.S.).  The performance time is 1:40pm.  We'll be finished with everything by 2:40pm and students may leave the site by car if necessary to get to events held later that day.

We'll have the kids excused from classes at 10:30am in order to dress, eat and prepare for departure (around 11:15am).  We'll be taking 1 activity bus and a box truck.  Students will be permitted to drive with parent consent--although I would prefer as many kids ride the bus as possible.  We can fit most of them on the bus.

This is a HUGE event--comparable to an "SAT" or other standardized test for performance ensembles.  Originally it was named "State Band Contest" or "State Band Festival"... 21st century trends have renamed it with an acronym to make it sound more important...sigh...  Bottom line, it's always been a big deal and our kids have been working really hard at presenting another superior performance!  

You'll get a reminder in a few weeks:)

Thank you,

Chamber Concert, Thursday February 20th

posted Feb 14, 2020, 9:27 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Feb 14, 2020, 9:27 AM ]

Dear Athens Drive band parent,
I just wanted to remind you about our Winter Chamber Concert to be held next Thursday, Feb. 20th at 7:00pm in our cafeteria.  Our boosters will be providing refreshments (coffee, tea, desserts) while our students are performing.  It's a great hour to enjoy beautiful music with beautiful people.

Although only students in our Wind Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, and String Orchestra will be performing, ALL band students are encouraged to attend.  Students in our Symphonic Band and Concert Band will receive extra credit for attending.

The really COOL thing about this concert is that the students perform in smaller (chamber) groupings so you can enjoy the colors of each instrument more and appreciate the blended sound when put back together again in a full band ensemble.  You will also hear some outstanding musicians!

The concert will only be about 1 hour in please make the effort to come join us!
Hope to see you next Thursday, 

Parent Proctor Needed

posted Jan 21, 2020, 9:14 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Jan 21, 2020, 9:14 AM ]

Dear band parent,

I am looking for some parents to "proctor" our Symphonic Band Exam on Thursday afternoon and our Concert Band Exam on Friday afternoon.   I would need a parent to be present between 11:15am-2:15pm in the band room.  You will be able to do quite a bit of personal work--on computer, reading, etc. as your main duty will be supervisory as I and our student intern listen to our band students in a separate setting.  If you cannot stay for the 3 hour block, just let me know how long you can stay.  First come first serve:)  

Priority #1 would be Friday afternoon; however, I would like some help both days if possible.

Thank you so much!

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!!!


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