November 6th, 2023
Athens Drive finishes competitive band season with a first and second
The Athens Drive Marching Band concluded its 2023 competitive band season with a first-place award and a second-place award at the 64th Annual Cary Band Day on Saturday, Nov. 4.
While Corinth-Holders of Johnston County took home the Division 5 title, Athens Drive won first in the drum major category and second in the music category, which was tops against other Wake County bands.
Drum majors Katie Ketchum, a senior, and Ari Casanova, a sophomore, got the highest marks across all divisions. The second-place in music was anchored by soloist Aidan Babosci on saxophone along with Will Barnes on marching euphonium and Bryce Morse on trumpet.
Band director Jerry “Doc” Markoch told the 80-member band after the performance that they were outstanding. “It was a wonderful, wonderful performance and it might be the best performance we’ve ever given at Cary Band Day,” he said. “It was solid and from the heart and you did Athens Drive proud.”
The Pride of the Drive may have come away with more total awards in earlier competitions but the last two runs of the season, at NW Guilford and Cary, were probably the best performances of the year.
One veteran observer who, several years ago, had children in two Wake County high school bands said that the Cary Band Day competition over the years has focused on performance dance and artistry while Athens Drive excels in the more traditional aspects of music and marching. “Athens Drive looked and sounded fantastic,” he said.
While Athens Drive has won hundreds of marching band awards over the years, the program focuses on being well-rounded with winter guard, winter percussion, concert, symphonic, wind ensemble, and jazz bands as well.
The Athens Drive Marching Band will perform its show, titled Be Musical!, one last time at the Marching Band Showcase on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Jaguar football field on campus. The public is invited for this free event.