Press Release

Wesleyan host Athens Drive’s Marching Band Camp

Athens Drive’s Marching Band has been featured in Rocky Mount Telegrams.

 

Wesleyan hosts Raleigh’s Athens Drive Marching Band

N.C. Wesleyan University will be hosting a familiar group starting Sunday when the Athens
Drive High School Marching Band of Raleigh comes to town for its annual band camp.

Dr. Jerome “Doc” Markoch, the Athens Drive band director, has been bringing his
award-winning band to Rocky Mount for a week each year, except the pandemic year, since
the 1990s, shortly after he took over the program.

“We went from the mountains of North Carolina to the coast looking for the ideal spot and
we found it in Rocky Mount,” Dr. Markoch said. “The facilities are perfect for us and we’ve
had a great relationship with Wesleyan.”The Athens Drive Band, which has brought as
many as 160 students to Wesleyan in the past, is working numbers back up after band
programs throughout the country took a hit during COVID. About 80 band students will
converge on the dorms this year, along with more than 30 chaperones and staff members.

Despite the lower numbers, the small band with the big sound has continued to excel as
Athens Drive took top honors in its size category in three of the four competitions in which
they took part last school year. They also were overall Grand Champions in two of the
contests.

Read more on the Rocky Mount telegram article or View The PDF

Wesleyan, Raleigh high school band forge long-lasting relationship

When Jerome “Doc” Markoch took over as band director at Raleigh’s Athens Drive High School
in 1994, he felt he needed a home away from home to focus his marching band.

Entering his 30th year at the helm, Markoch is celebrating 28 years at his second home this
week at N.C. Wesleyan University during the annual band camp.

Despite missing a year due to the pandemic, the Athens Drive High School Marching Band is
Wesleyan’s longest-running summer partnership.“We at Wesleyan are both grateful for and
incredibly honored by it,” said Kimla Brandt, Wesleyan’s event logistics coordinator and summer
camp director. Brandt, who has served at the university for 21 of those 28 band camps, said she
is impressed with the band’s “tireless diligence, meticulous marching and incredible music.”

That’s the result Markoch was looking for when he scoured the state in the 1990s looking for the
perfect spot for band camp.

“N.C. Wesleyan is ideally located from our school, just over an hour away,” Markoch said. “The
campus is small enough to feel ‘homey’ but it affords us all the resources, both indoor and
outdoor, that we need.”

He said that not only are the facilities perfect for what he wants to accomplish, but also that the
staff has been courteous and helpful.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Wesleyan,” he said. “I truly believe that we are all on the
same page when it comes to giving our students an outstanding learning experience.”

Read more on the Rocky Mount telegram article or View The PDF

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