Director’s News

Raleigh Christmas Parade and Banquet Logistics

Dear marching band member and parent,

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with information concerning the Raleigh Christmas Parade and Marching Band Banquet this Saturday.  Upcoming events are also listed at the end of this letter.  PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE LETTER!



Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019

Report & Dress                     7:15am

Group Photo in New Stadium                8:00am

Depart for downtown Raleigh (via activity buses)     8:45am

Arrive at parade site                 9:00am

Approx. “Step-Off” Time                10:15am

(we are in the middle of the parade)

Return to ADHS                 11:30am

***Banquet (in cafeteria)             1:30-4:30pm


Group Photo:  Because we did not get the opportunity to have a formal group photo taken during any of our competitions, we wanted to schedule one before the season ends.  We will make this photo available on smugmug.  (Might make a nice holiday gift ?)

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is a beautiful event, one that our band has marched in since our school was founded over 40 years ago.  The parade is one of the largest parades in the region with over 110 entries.  It is also well attended and televised:  The students will have the opportunity to perform for more people than all our previous performances combined.  But most importantly, it is an opportunity for both band members and families to share another one of those “feel good” moments!

The parade will begin on Hillsborough St. near St. Mary’s College and move east to the Capitol.  The parade will then trace part of the perimeter of the Capitol, eventually turning south onto Fayetteville Street.  The total length of the parade is about 1.4 miles.


Our Marching Band Banquet allows us to formally close a wonderful season.  The banquet is “pot-luck;” families should review instructions (posted online) concerning what to bring.  Dress for the banquet is semi-casual:  look nice because ALL of you will be receiving recognition!  Students may bring a change of clothes for the banquet and remain at school, or they may travel home to change.

THE WEATHER:  Have you seen the forecast for Saturday?  Ugh!  For the past 25 years, we have enjoyed terrific weather for this parade—really quite uncanny!  And the year that we do a “weather” show…

Although it is my understanding that the parade will go on rain or shine, we may not participate based on the amount of precipitation.  For many reasons including damage to instruments, uniforms, flags as well as the health of our students, we will not march if the rain appears to be steady–even if it is relatively light.  (It is also not fun to stand out in this weather for someone in the audience!)

If the rain is very light and intermittent, we will probably “go for it.”  We will bring rain ponchos that will protect us while we are waiting to “step-off.”  We can either keep them on or remove them shortly before step-off.  (They are not fun/easy to march with and not very attractive…it’s like watching a band of garbage bags marching down the street.).

We may not be able to make this call until Saturday morning…and maybe even after the kids report to the band room…  I will be watching everything carefully and communicating with my colleagues.  From what I can tell, we are all on roughly the same page with regard to performing in adverse weather.  In other words, we will probably not be the only band that doesn’t march if that is the call.  It is also possible that we will forego the photo in the stadium and just go with a later reporting time (probably 8:00am).  In this case, we’ll take the photo before the Cary parade on Dec. 14th.





Other information:

1)    Winter Guard & Winter Percussion are presently holding orientation rehearsals for interested students.  Be sure to get on board if you are interested as membership in these outstanding groups will close in just a few weeks!

2)     Remember to order your fruits and nuts!  (“Orange you glad I reminded you?)  Order forms are due Saturday.

3)    Remember to visit our Dewey’s Bakery Store at Waverly Place!  Yum!!!


Important Upcoming Dates:

12/7     Apex Christmas Parade 1:30-7:30pm (parade begins at 5:00pm)

*Students are reporting earlier than usual in order to take a formal individual picture and attach lights to their uniform and instruments.  We are going to be really LIT in this parade!  Students are also asked to stay for an extra 15-20 minutes once we return to Athens in order to carefully remove and store the lights.

12/14   Cary Christmas Parade Noon-4:00pm (parade begins at 2:00pm)

12/17   Grand Holiday Concert 7:00pm (Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble)


Hope to see you along the parade route cheering on our wonderful band…in dry weather!

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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