Director’s News

REGISTRATION IS OPEN – for 2020-2021 MB Season

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with the information you need to sign up for the Athens Drive 2020-2021 Marching Band!  The marching schedule for the upcoming months is included with the sincere hope that we can abide by as much of this schedule as possible with respect to NC’s Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.  We will amend the schedule as needed if we are not able to rehearse or perform on the dates listed.


The most important thing to do NOW is to sign up for our band by filling out the online Marching Band Registration Form.  

Some important notes about registration and band camp:

  1.     We are requesting a $100 registration fee; however, this may be amended/waived for families struggling economically with the Covid-19 impact.  In a worst-case scenario in which we are unable to have Marching Band this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, registration fees will be refunded to all accounts that are paid in full.
  2.     We will only travel to N.C. Wesleyan for Band Camp if a) we are permitted to do so by following WCPSS and NC guidelines; AND b) the vast majority of students/parent chaperones can attend. We realize that even with the restrictions lifted, we may have some students/families that are not comfortable with spending that week away from home.  If we cannot attend N.C. Wesleyan, we will try to hold the camp at school, rehearsing as much as possible throughout that week.
  3.     The Final Day to Sign-up for Marching Band is JUNE 19.  All students must register for Marching Band by this date by filling out the online Marching Band Registration Form. After this date, we will submit our numbers to our drill writer who will choreograph our show.  Please note that we cannot add members once the show has been written.
  4.     PercussionAll students interested in playing percussion must also contact our instructor, John Antonelli at for information needed to assign parts.  John may provide some “remote instruction” and ask the students to submit a video of their work so that he can determine skill levels.  Please contact John as soon as possible as he is in the process of writing the music for our show!
  5.     Color Guard All students interested in joining color guard must also contact our instructor, Jennifer Harris at for information regarding securing flags, rifles, and sabre.  Jennifer (who goes by “Mason”) may provide some “remote instruction” and ask the students to submit a video of their work so that she can determine skill levels.  Please contact Mason as soon as possible as we need to get costumes/flags ordered in June for the fall season.


Proposed Summer Schedule


July 20-26 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 26-31 All day/night

Only if permitted and only if the majority of students/parent chaperones can attend.  If we cannot attend this camp, we will hold as many rehearsals as possible at the school during that week.                                                


Post Camp

Aug. 4, 5, 6 6:30pm-10:00pm*

Aug. 11, 12, 13 6:30pm-10:00pm*


After-School Rehearsals (beginning Tuesday, Aug. 18 through November 5)

Tuesday 3:00-5:30pm

Wednesday 3:00-5:00pm

Thursday 3:00-5:30pm

*Rehearsals for drumline, front ensemble, and color 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 end of document)

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.


Additional Information/FAQs



Students interested in color guard or percussion must also contact the instructors as noted above.  Specific placement within units will depend on talent/skill level.  Woodwind and brass players do not need to audition, even if their performance skills are limited.


Summer Rehearsals?

Summer rehearsals are necessary due to the school schedule and the amount of training/conditioning involved in this activity.  Percussionists and color guard usually meet 1-2 days per week throughout June and July to learn/strengthen fundamentals.  THESE SESSIONS MAY BE DONE REMOTELY THIS YEAR.  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 color 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 2020-21 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 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. There is a possibility that the service commitment requirement may be altered or waived if opportunities for shift work at fundraisers are extremely limited or unavailable due to Covid-19 restrictions.

We are requesting that the financial assessment be paid in the following manner:  $100 by June 19th with the online Marching Band Registration Form, an additional $500 prior to band camp (July 26th), 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.”  Also, it is understood that as a result of the economic turn-down experienced by COVID-19, several families cannot meet the financial requirements for marching band this year.  If you are among members of this group, please let us know and we will make it possible for you to participate.  NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR FINANCIAL REASONS!


*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 past student accounts must be paid in full by June 19th 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.


How do I sign up?

In order to be included in the 2020-2021 Athens Drive Marching Band, each student – new and returning – must complete the  Marching Band Registration Form by June 19th.

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 19th.  Students who enroll after June 19th 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 ADMHS (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


Athens Drive High School Marching Band

2020 Schedule as of May 12, 2020

Due to “social distancing” restrictions as a result of COVID-19, this schedule is very tentative; amendments will be made in accordance with all regulations.

(All events at ADHS unless otherwise noted.)



July 20-23 Precamp                                              6:30pm-10:00pm

July 26-31 Band camp (N.C. Wesleyan)               TBA

Aug.4-6; 11-13 Postcamp                                      6:30pm-10:00pm



Aug. 18 First After-School Rehearsal                      3:00-5:30pm

Aug. 21 Football Game (vs. Holly Springs)             6:00-10:00pm

Aug. 28 Football Game (vs. Broughton)                  6:00-10:00pm

Sept. 19 Saturday Rehearsal                                   9:00-9:00pm

Sept. 26 Competition #1                                           TBA

Oct. 3 Competition #2                                               TBA

Oct. 16 Football Game (vs. Riverside)                      6:00-10:00pm

Oct. 17 Competition #3                                             TBA

Oct. 24 Competition #4                                             TBA

Oct. 30 Football Game (vs. Jordan)                     6:00-10:00pm

-8th Grade Band Visit

Nov. 6 Football Game (vs. Cary)                                6:00-10:00pm

-Senior Recognition

Nov. 7 Competition #5                                                 TBA

Nov. 10, 11, 12 No After-School Rehearsals

Nov. 17 & 19 Christmas Parade Rehearsals                3:00-5:00pm

Nov. 21 Raleigh Christmas Parade                               8:00am-noon

– Marching Band Banquet                          1:30-4:30pm

Dec. 5 Apex Christmas Parade                   3:00-7:00pm

Dec. 12 Cary Christmas Parade                                  Noon-4:30pm


After School Rehearsal Schedule (8/18-11/5)

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. 3, Nov. 7, Dec.. 5

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 (

Dr. Jerry Markoch, Director of Bands

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