Director’s News

Marching Band 2019 Info Letter and Schedule

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.

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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