Director’s News

Marching Band 2018 Overview Letter

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

April 30, May 2, 7, 8          3:00-5:00pm

May 9 (audition)             3:15-5:00pm

Section Leader Interviews (including guard/percussion captains)

–Students will sign-up for a 10-minute interview during the time listed below. 

April 30, May 2                    3:00-5:30pm

Rising Freshmen Orientation Meetings 

–New members attend one or both; Section Leaders attend both.

May 14 & 15                        6:30-8:30pm

Colorguard Clinics & Auditions

–The clinics and auditions are required for all students intending on participating in colorguard. 

May 14 & 15                        6:30-8:30pmClinics

May 16 & 21                        6:30-8:30pmAuditions

Percussion Clinics & Audition

–The clinics are highly recommended for all new students as well as returning students who are interested in auditioning on an instrument that they have not played before.  The audition is required for all students, new and returning.

May 14 & 15                        6:30-8:30pmClinics

May 16 & 21                        6:30-8:30pmAudition

Leadership Meetings for all rising Seniors/Section Leaders

May 14                                              2:30-3:00pm

May 29 (election of band captain)    2:30-3:15pm

TBA (inventory/cleaning)                TBA



July 23-26                                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 29 – Aug. 3                All day/night

Post Camp

Aug. 7, 8, 96:30pm-10:00pm

Aug. 14, 15, 16                        6:30pm-10:00pm

Aug. 21, 22, 23                        6:30pm-10:00pm

After-School Rehearsals (beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28 to early November)*

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); the guard usually rehearses in the evening on Tuesday and Wednesday (not after school).  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 rehearsal and performance schedule will be distributed in May.


Additional Information/FAQs


Students interested in colorguard or percussion must attend the clinics and audition 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 are highly encouraged to attend one or both of the orientation meetings on May 14 & 15.  [Percussion and guard students must attend these meetings as they are audition 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 MANDITORY, 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 2018 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.  2) a “financial commitment” of $975*, and 3) 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 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.

We are requesting that the financial assessment be paid in the following manner:  $100 by June 1st with the intent form (see below), an additional $500 prior to band camp (July 27th), 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 2018 Athens Drive Marching Band, each student—new and returning—must complete the “2018-19 Marching Band Registration and Intent Form” located on the Forms page of our website at by June 1st.

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 1st.  Students who enroll after June 1st 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 160 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 the Walt Disney World Electric Light Parade.  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, meals at competitions, 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 colorguard members will be $775 to help offset expenses for Winterguard.  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 3rd 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.

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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Support The Band

Earn money for your band account and for the band.

We Need You!

We can't do this without your help.  Sign Up To Volunteer.

Wed, 29 November 2023