Doc's Weekly Letter, Spring Concert II, MB Registration and More!

posted May 17, 2019, 4:54 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 17, 2019, 4:55 AM ]

Hello everyone!
Just a few more weeks left of the school year--but they are loaded with several music performances and events!

1) Our Spring Concert II will be held next Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00pm.  Featured groups will be our Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.  This will be the final performance by our seniors...  Concert Band students will receive extra credit for attending!

2) Marching Band registration is due Friday, June 7.  To access registration, click on Register for 2019-2020 Marching Band (in red ) at the top of our Home Page.

All students must complete the WCPSS Consent and Medical Form and turn in by June 7th.   NEW members must also complete the WCPSS Athletic Participation Form that requires a physical.  The Athletic Participation Form is not due until band camp in late July.  Both of these forms can be found under “Forms” (in the menu on the left side of our web page).  Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe! 

Forms can be turned in to Doc or to the Athens Drive HS front office.  

3) Our Spring Band Banquet will be held Sunday, June 2 from 1:30-4:30 in the cafeteria.  All band members, including those in concert groups, winter guard, indoor percussion, jazz ensemble, and marching band are urged to attend.  At the conclusion of the event, we will show our annual slide show recapping our year.  It is also a wonderful way to say "goodbye" to our seniors and their families.

4) I am teaching guitar this summer as I have in past years.  Please contact me if you are interested in taking these series of lessons designed for beginners through intermediate players.  It's a wonderful way to experience music through a different medium.  The guitar is a wonderful harmonic and melodic instrument that is portable, quiet when necessary, and can be a friend for a lifetime:)

5) Our Symphonic Band and the juniors and sophomores in our Wind Ensemble will be performing for GRADUATION on Wednesday evening, June 12th.  Report time to Athens will be 6:00pm, Graduation at the Convention Center is 8:00pm, and we'll be back to Athens by 10:00pm.  Dress is formal black/tie like our concerts.  I'll send a separate letter about this in a few weeks.

Thank you for everything you do to make our kids and program so wonderful!

Added Evening Rehearsal for Wind Ensemble

posted May 14, 2019, 6:50 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 14, 2019, 6:50 AM ]

Dear Wind Ensemble students & parents,

In order to better prepare for our concert next Tuesday evening, I am requesting an added evening rehearsal on Monday, 5/20 from 7-9pm.  We are performing some wonderful pieces that demand a bit more TLC than we can manage during the school day--especially when one considers that we have not had 100% attendance for the past 2 weeks due to AP exams.  (Big sigh...)

At any rate, I appreciate your flexibility in making this added 2 hours a reality.  For our seniors, it's your LAST dress rehearsal!  

As always, if there is a pre-existing obligation that cannot be altered, just let me know...

Thank you,

Marching Band Registration is up and running & Orientation

posted May 13, 2019, 8:46 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 13, 2019, 8:46 AM ]

Registration for our 2019-20 Marching Band is up and running on our website ( 
Please note that registration is due on Friday, June 7 as we need to send our choreographer the numbers so that he can get writing our show.  Once those numbers are sent, we cannot change them without incurring added expense.

All NEW members need to complete the WCPSS Athletic Form (which includes a physical) AND the WCPSS Parental Consent & Medical Form.  However, returning members only need to complete the WCPSS Parental Consent & Medical Form and do NOT need to have another physical (unless medical conditions have significantly changed).  The WCPSS Parental Consent & Medical Form is due June7th with the registration.  New members must have the physical and completed WCPSS Athletic Form by band camp (late July).  Our school nurse checks ALL forms to make sure they are complete and current.  Please help us make this process smooth by adhering to these directions.  Remember, the purpose of these forms are the safety and well-being of our students.  It is quite a challenge to take 40-50 new members away for a week to band camp, so we need to know all necessary back ground information.

A reminder that our orientation for new members is THIS WEEK:  Monday/Tuesday for new woodwind and brass players; Monday thru Thursday for all guard and percussion.  All sessions are 6:30-8:30pm.  Hope to see you there!


Doc's Weekly Note: Spring Concert, Marching Band Orientation

posted May 8, 2019, 5:54 PM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 8, 2019, 5:54 PM ]

Dear Athens Drive H.S. band families,
Here's the stuff you need to know that is currently on the front burner of our musical stove--

1) Our Spring Concert I, featuring our Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble, is this Thursday, May 9 at 7:00pm.   I am encouraging our older students--particularly our section leader/captain candidates--to attend to support our younger musicians!  We are family!

2) We are holding orientation evenings for all new marching band members next week 6:30-8:30pm:  Monday OR Tuesday, 5/13 or 5/14 for woodwinds and brass; Monday thru Thursday, 5/13-16 for guard and percussion.  We have learned that 95% of the students that attend these orientations end up in our program.  It is so important to talk these orientations up!  Remember, we can teach a motivated student how to play an instrument.  High school students are amazing in this regard!  Sign-up for marching band can be done by visiting our website:  Sign-ups are due Friday, June 7.

3) Our Spring Concert II, featuring our Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, will be on Tuesday, May 21 at 7:00pm.  It will be the last high school performance by our seniors!  (Bring some tissues...sob)

4) We will be posting the leadership roster for our marching band on Friday at 2:18pm in the band room area.  This is a very exciting time for our band; however, it will be disappointing for some.  I have discussed with the students the importance of maintaining perspective and reacting in a mature, positive manner.  I sincerely wish we could appoint everyone a position; however, that would simply not be realistic--and the kids readily agree.  Please know that a great deal of thought has gone into these decisions by several people, including Mr. Mares, our music staff, and the graduating seniors.  We need EVERYONE to get on board with the new leadership crew and make next year's marching band the best we have ever had at Athens Drive!  Remember, in the end everyone can be a leader in their own circle.

5) Here's another wish...that band was FREE.  But it's not...  That said, I do not want any student to be discouraged from joining our band due to financial constraints.  The most important thing is to COMMUNICATE.  Our booster board is comprised of a very compassionate group of people who truly want to help dreams come true.  For those of you carrying the burden of wanting your child to participate but worried about the financial end of things, please COMMUNICATE with us.  Any letter sent to our treasurers or presidents ( or will remain strictly confidential.  The reality that we learned from our London survey was that we do have some terrific families in this program that do need help...and we WANT to help you rather than spend the money on a large trip.  But, we need your communication.  Please let's work together so that everyone will benefit.  Thank you!

Hope to see many of you on Thursday enjoying the music created by our terrific kids!

Spring Concert Reminders and Other Upcoming Events

posted May 2, 2019, 7:47 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 2, 2019, 7:48 AM ]

May 2, 2019

Dear band members and parents,

The end is in sight!!!  (But it ain’t here yet…)   Please review the following list of end-of-year events.

Thursday, May 9

            6:15pm                        Report:  CB in bandroom; Jazz in chorus room

            7:00pm                        Concert begins (CB/Jazz)

            8:30pm                        Concert concludes

Tuesday, May 21

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

            7:00pm                        Concert begins (SB/WE)

            8:45pm                        Concert concludes

*Students are encouraged to attend both concerts—if possible—to support their peers in our program.  Please review the concert dress requirements.

Monday & Tuesday, May 13 & 14 (6:30pm-8:30pm)---For NEW woodwind & brass players and their parents.  Come to 1 or both!

Monday through Thursday, May 13-16 (6:30pm-8:30pm)---For ALL percussion and color guard students.  Come to as many as you can.

Please note that parents are invited to come to the parent meetings in the band room on the 13th or 14th.

No commitment required to attend these events!

Sunday, June 2

For all band members:  Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Winter Guard, Winter Percussion, and Marching Band.  Look for emails from our boosters concerning what to bring, etc.  Every student receives recognition!

Marching Band Intent Forms for the Fall, 2019 Season are due Friday June 7.  All information & forms can be found on our webpage (

Wednesday, June 12 in the Raleigh Convention Center

6:00-10:00pm (ceremony at 8:00pm)

Required for all current Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band members—except seniors.

Students will be transported to and from the Convention Center from Athens Drive.  Additional information about this event will be distributed under separate cover.
Doc is offering a series of 6 summer guitar lessons designed for beginning and intermediate students.  It’s a terrific way to enrich your enjoyment of music because the guitar is so different than a wind instrument.  Please email him for more details.

Many of the selections that we will be performing on our upcoming program are available to be sponsored.  Your child’s name will be inscribed on a master copy of each part and the inscription will always be noted in our programs every time we perform the work.  Most works are under $100.  This is a terrific way to honor your child and help our wonderful band program.  Ask your child what works they enjoy and send me a note.  Thank you!

Doc's Notes for 5/2/2019

posted May 2, 2019, 7:32 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated May 2, 2019, 7:32 AM ]

Dear Athens Drive Band H.S. families,
Here's the current "happenings" in our band world:

1) Our Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble will be performing their Spring Concert next Thursday, May 9th at 7:00pm in the auditorium.  Additional information was emailed under separate cover and can be found on our website.

2) Marching Band Orientation for all new members (and parents) will be held on May 13 & 14th from 6:30-8:30pm in the band room.  New woodwind and brass players need only attend 1 of these sessions.  Guard and Percussion students are also asked to come on May 15th and 16th.

3) All Marching Band Leadership Personnel for the 2019-20 school year will be announced after school on Friday, May 10th.  All of these candidates have interviewed with Doc and other staff/students, and a survey has been distributed among members seeking their input.  Although the final decisions rests with the director, please know that many sources have been consulted and that it is very difficult to choose among such fine students.  EVERYONE can be a leader in some manner, and too many "cooks in the kitchen" usually results in a mess or stalemate at best.  Thank you for everyone's maturity in dealing with these decisions.

4) Six of our band members will be performing with the All-State Band in Greensboro this weekend:  Brennan Robbins, Gavin Foley, Brian Suh, Ana Altman, Derek Geiger, and Wesley Major.  Thank you for representing our band with your incredible musicianship and character!

5) A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was involved with our BBQ--we raised a record amount of revenue and it was delicious!  Also, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who was involved with the Cary Arts Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheater last Sunday.  What gorgeous weather (it's about time), great performances, and very smooth logistical operations.  It was another shining moment for our band which hosted the event.  The semi trailer was a great billboard and sure looked awesome!

Thank you for all your continued support!

Doc's Notes for Thursday, 4/25

posted Apr 25, 2019, 8:29 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 25, 2019, 8:30 AM ]

Dear Athens Drive H.S. Band families,
I hope that your spring break was relaxing and refreshing.  We are now in the "home stretch" of the school year, but it's still a long way to the finish line--but we can see it!

Here's the "band happenings" for the next few days:

1) Our annual spring BAND BBQ is tomorrow at Swift Creek community center 11am-7pm.  This is an EASY way to help the band program and satisfy your hunger!  We are making our own BBQ this year!  It's going to be LIT, and yummy!

2) Our Jazz Ensemble (performance 6:30pm) and Wind Ensemble (performance 8:30pm) are performing at the Cary Arts Festival at Koka Booth Amphitheater (Regency Park, Cary) this Sunday, 4/28.  This is a FREE event.  Bring your lawn chair and a picnic dinner and enjoy the great music.  The show runs from 3:00pm-9:00pm... lots of area musical groups:  jazz, choir, orchestra, drama.  Weather looks to be sensational!  Woo-hoo!

3) We are interviewing all students next week interested in being a section leader/captain in our marching band.  Interviews are Monday & Thursday after school...sign-up sheet in the band room.  Students need to complete an application prior to their interview...applications are in the band room as well.

4) Anyone interested in taking guitar lessons this summer, please email me!  I teach a set of 6 lessons designed for beginners or intermediate players.  

Hope to see you on Sunday! 

Marching Band 2019 Schedule

posted Apr 9, 2019, 5:13 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 9, 2019, 5:13 AM ]

Athens Drive High School Marching Band
2019 Schedule
(All events at ADHS unless otherwise noted.)


July 22-25 Pre-camp                                               6:30pm-10:00pm
July 28-Aug. 2 Band Camp (N.C. Wesleyan) TBA
Aug. 6-8; 13-15; 20-22 Post-camp                                               6:30pm-10:00pm


Aug. 27 First After-School Rehearsal                   3:00-5:30pm    
Sept. 6                                       Football Game (vs. Enloe) 6:00-10:00pm
Sept. 13                                     Football Game (vs. Middle Creek) 6:00-10:00pm
Sept. 20                                     Football Game (vs. Apex Friendship)     6:00-10:00pm
Sept. 21                                     Saturday Rehearsal                            9:00-9:00pm
Sept. 27                                     Football game (vs. Heritage)                   6:00-10:00pm
Sept. 28                                     Competition #1             `                        TBA                
Oct. 5                                        Competition #2                                      TBA    
Oct. 11                                      Football Game (vs. Green Hope)         6:00-10:00pm
Oct. 12                                      Competition #3                                 TBA
Oct. 25                                      Football Game (vs. Panther Creek)          6:00-10:00pm
                                                       -Eighth Grade Band Night
                                                       -Senior Recognition     
Oct. 26                                      Competition #4                                  TBA
Nov. 2                                       Competition #5                                     TBA
Nov. 5-7                                    No After-School Rehearsals                  
Nov. 12-14                                No After-School Rehearsals
Nov. 19 & 21                             Christmas Parade Rehearsals         3:00-5:00pm
Nov. 23                                      Raleigh Christmas Parade                  8:00am-noon
                                                 Marching Band Banquet                     1:30-4:30pm
Dec. 7                                       Apex Christmas Parade                     3:00-7:00pm
Dec. 14                                      Cary Christmas Parade                          Noon-4:30pm

After School Rehearsal Schedule (8/27-10/31)
Tuesday & Thursday 3:00-5:30pm; Wednesday 3:00-5:00pm
(Guard & Percussion may differ slightly due to instructor availability.  Rehearsal schedule for these groups will be provided ASAP.)

SAT Dates:  Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7
Students may sign up to take the SAT on any of these dates; we will make certain that our performance schedule allows students to take the test in the morning/early afternoon.   

Please contact the band director ASAP if there is a serious conflict with any of the above dates (

Marching Band 2019 Info Letter and Schedule

posted Apr 8, 2019, 10:36 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 8, 2019, 10:36 AM ]

April 2019

Dear New/Returning Marching Band Member and Parent,

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information regarding the marching schedule for the upcoming months. 

Drum Major Candidate Training and Audition
Apr. 24, 29, May 1, 6                               3:00-5:00pm
May 8 (audition)                                      3:00-5:00pm

Section Leader Interviews (including guard/percussion captains)
--Students will sign-up for a 10-minute interview during the time listed below.
Apr. 29, May 1                                        3:00-5:30pm

Drum Major/Section Leader/Captain Posting
May 10                                                  2:18pm

Woodwind/Brass Orientation Meetings (Attend one or both; for students and parents)
May 13 & 14                                          6:30-8:30pm

Colorguard/Percussion Clinics (Required for all students intending on participating; parents should also attend one of the orientation meetings in the band room on May 13 or May 14)
May 13, 14, 15, 16                                   6:30-8:30pm                                          

Leadership Meetings for all rising Seniors/Section Leaders
May 13 2:40-3:10pm
May 28 (election of band captain) 2:40-3:30pm
TBA (inventory/cleaning)                         TBA                                                    

July 22-25                                              6:30pm-10:00pm*                      
*Leadership meetings for seniors and section leaders will be held 3:00-5:00pm Monday through Thursday; attendance is mandatory.

Band Camp at N.C. Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC
July 28-Aug. 2                                        All day/night                             

Post Camp
Aug. 6, 7, 8 6:30pm-10:00pm*
Aug. 13, 14, 15                                       6:30pm-10:00pm*                      
Aug. 20, 21, 22                                       6:30pm-10:00pm*

After-School Rehearsals (beginning Tuesday, Aug. 27 through October)*
Tuesday   3:00-5:30pm
Wednesday   3:00-5:00pm
Thursday    3:00-5:30pm

*Rehearsals for drumline, front ensemble, and guard may vary from the above due to instructor availability.  The drumline usually rehearses in the evening on Wednesday (not after school on this day); the guard usually rehearses in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday (not after school on these days).  The entire band usually rehearses after school on Thursday.  All changes will be communicated in writing as far in advance as possible.

Performance Schedule
At the time of this letter, all performances are TBA, but include 5 home football games (usually Friday evenings), 5 competitions (on Saturdays), and several other events (parades, school assemblies).  In general, the students will be involved in some type of activity on most Saturdays from mid-September to Thanksgiving.  A complete performance schedule will be distributed in May.


Additional Information/FAQs

Students interested in color guard or percussion must attend the clinics in May.  Specific placement within units will depend on talent/skill level.  Woodwind and brass players who have successfully completed 8th grade band in middle school are not required to audition.  Students who have not participated in middle school band should contact the band director for specific requirements.

Orientation Meetings?
All rising freshmen who play woodwind or brass are highly encouraged to attend one or both of the orientation meetings on May 13 & 14.  (Percussion and guard students must attend these meetings as they are clinic dates).  The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for students and parents to visit our campus, meet our staff and parent boosters, and actually do some rehearsing (wear tennis shoes and bring your instrument).

Summer Rehearsals?
Summer rehearsals are necessary due to the school schedule and the amount of training/conditioning involved in this activity.  Percussionists and guard usually meet 1-2 days per week throughout June and July to learn/strengthen fundamentals.  These informal rehearsals are NOT MANDATORY, but highly encouraged.  The instructors will provide dates and times for these rehearsals in early June. 

Pre-Camp is required for all band members (including percussion and guard) in order to teach/review marching fundamentals and for students to get acquainted with each other and the staff.  Band Camp is the most important week of the marching band season.  It is an intense week where students focus almost entirely on learning the competition show.  The purpose of Post Camp is to reinforce and strengthen skills, movement, and music learned at band camp. 

If you would like to participate in the 2019 Marching Band but cannot attend one or more of the summer rehearsals, please contact the band office as soon as possible.  Band camp is the most critical of all weeks; exceptions to this week are made sparingly and are based on musicianship skills and circumstances.

Our marching band performs a variety of music reflecting the three major roles that we fulfill to our school/community and students:  1) ceremonial/patriotic music (Star Spangled Banner, America, etc.) to fulfill our role as ambassador; 2) pep and spirited music (oldies and current hits) to add excitement to sporting events and rallies; and 3) “artistic music” to enhance the music education of our students and audience.  It is this music that we play for competitions. 

As the marching band receives NO FUNDING from WCPSS, it is necessary to assess a “fair share obligation” for participating in the marching band.  In order to cover the cost of band camp, instruments, extra staffing, music, charting, equipment, charter transportation, and other service needs, each student is assessed two types of commitments:  1) a non-refundable registration fee of $100;  plus a “financial commitment” of $975*, and 2) a “service commitment” of working 5 paid fundraising shifts per family (equal to approx. $175, or approx. $35 per shift).  Here’s the good news:  fulfilling each service commitment not only meets this obligation, but also earns money that goes directly toward the student’s band account.  And, families can continue to earn money toward their financial commitment by working at fundraising venues to partially or fully offset the entire amount.  Families may also “pay” the entire financial commitment and service commitment out-of-pocket. 

The service commitment is easy to fulfill provided that the student and family are willing to participate in one or more of the following group activities:  1) working the concessions at the PNC Arena for Hurricanes or NC State games; and 2) monitoring parking lots at the NC State Fair.  Working 5 shifts at any of these events will fulfill your required service commitment AND earn money toward your financial commitment AND earn money toward your financial commitment.

We are requesting that the financial assessment be paid in the following manner:  $100 by June 7th with the intent form (see below), an additional $500 prior to band camp (July 28th), and $125 on the first of each month beginning in September and ending in December provided the service commitment is fulfilled.  Of course, money earned through fundraising events in addition to the 5 service commitments will lower these above amounts. 

Financial assistance is available through the booster organization for students who demonstrate need.  No student should be discouraged to join due to the financial obligation; we will assist every family willing to contribute their “fair share.”

How do I sign up?
In order to be included in the 2019 Athens Drive Marching Band, each student—new and returning—must complete the “2019 Marching Band Registration and Intent Form” located on the Forms page of our website at by June 7th.

Please note that we are requesting a non-refundable deposit of $100.  Students with a credit in their band account can have this deposit deducted by indicating so on the form.  The $100 will be used toward the overall marching band assessment.  Because our music and drill is custom written for our band, we must know exact numbers by June 7th.  Students who enroll after June 7th are not guaranteed a position.

Final Thoughts
Because the success of a group such as the marching band is contingent upon participation from everyone involved, it is crucial that students be at ALL rehearsals and performances.  If you see a serious conflict with any of the aforementioned dates, please let me know in writing as soon as possible.  Many circumstances—including doctor appointments—can be adjusted now in order to avoid hindering the progress of over 150 students!

We are proud of the fact that over 90% of all instrumental music students at ADHS (those enrolled in Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble) participate in the marching band.  We are also excited about the accomplishments of this group:  During the past 40 years the marching band has won numerous “First Place” and “Grand Champion” awards and has performed in such famous locales as the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida; the Washington D.C. Memorial Day Parade; the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade; and Walt Disney World.  This is an outstanding music program and we look forward to your enthusiastic participation!

If you have any questions regarding the contents of this letter or our band program, please do not hesitate to contact me (email is easiest—  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Jerry Markoch

*The “fair-share assessment” covers all program costs including band camp, transportation to performance venues, uniform/instrument/equipment loan, instruction, music, choreography.  Every attempt is made to limit additional expenses.  In fact, the only “extra” expense is marching shoes if necessary (@$45). 

*Financial assessment for color guard members will be $775 to help offset expenses for Winter guard.  The service commitment of 5 events is still applicable.

*Families with 2 or more children in the marching band program will be assessed $975 for the first child and 20% less for each other child ($780 for winds & percussion, $620 for guard).  If one child plays a wind/percussion instrument and another child is a member of the guard, the 20% discount will be taken from the guard assessment.  

*All student accounts must be paid in full by June 7th in order to enroll in the marching band for upcoming year.  Families with demonstrated financial need may apply for financial aid in meeting their unpaid balance.

Band Booster / Parent Meeting April 9th - Please Attend!

posted Apr 5, 2019, 7:30 AM by Athens Drive High School Band   [ updated Apr 5, 2019, 7:30 AM ]

Following up on the note from our presidents, I am enthusiastically inviting you to our monthly meeting on April 9th - 7.30pm (in the band room - or otherwise notified!)  

We are beginning to put together plans for our Marching Band next fall as well as a spring trip to Washington D.C.
We've got some exciting new fundraisers in the works and will wrap up the many events that we have enjoyed over the past few months.  Mainly, it's just invigorating to be around folks who are passionate about creating something so positive in our school - for our kids, and for each other.

Hope to see you on Tuesday.

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