Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cary Band Day

Posted October 24, 2008

If you were a band member in school what instrument did you play and what drew you to that instrument? Also, what are your favorite band memories? Please share your thoughts on these questions.

As you think about these things let's talk about one of the premiere band events in the Southeast. Cary Band Day kicks off with a huge parade November 1st emceed by legendary WRAL news anchor Charlie Gaddy. The field of bands participating in this colorful celebration of music is larger than ever. More than 35 bands will compete for prizes in the 50th edition of Cary Band Day.

Publicist Stan Hill says other highlights include the East Carolina University Marching Band. The Marching Pirates will perform in exhibition during the field show portion of Cary Band Day.

Also, The Cary High Marching Band will perform in exhibition during the field show portion of their show "Traditions" which is a tribute to past and present marching bands complete with wardrobe changes from yesteryear to present day.

What instrument did I play? Well, I started with the cornet in the fifth grade, transitioned to baritone and finished up with the tuba in middle school. Yes, Greg Fishel and I do have something in common!


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  • kabr Oct 30, 2008

    Big Guy, you are right, Jimmy Burns was the band director at Cary High for quite a while. He is very involved in the 50th anniversary band day. I know he is helping with the alumni band. All of the former directors that are able to are going to be at the alumni reception Friday night and will serve as Grand Marshals of the Parade. As I understand it, that includes Harold Burt, Jimmy Burns, Don Stubblefield, Don Lucas, Tony Robinson, and the current director, Matt Minnick. There are lots of details on the band's website here:

    I played trumpet indoors and was in the colorguard outdoors. I really enjoyed the travel and all the friends. Of course I liked practice, too, so I am not sure what that says about me!

  • SwtSuthrnSass Oct 30, 2008

    I was in chorus in high school and I loved every mintue of it!

    My son started with the flute in 6th grade but switched to baritone sax this year when he entered 9th grade at Person High.

  • happy Oct 28, 2008

    I played flute for 6 years, starting in 7th grade. Junior year, switched to piccalo. Senior year, traded in the instruments and picked up the flags. Continued to do flags for 2 years in college. My oldest daughter played flute and piccalo as well and was the drum major for South Johnston when the band was 250 members strong. I'm so happy you posted this. I will be there with bells on!

  • tke197 Oct 27, 2008

    Cary Band Days is a great competition. I am a sophomore parent of a West Johnston band member and we love coming to Cary. It is always a great time and all of the best marching bands in NC and surrounding areas are in attendance. As stated by ReallyBigYawn, the expenses are incredible. We are still attemtping to raise the necessary funds to send our band to the Macy's parade this year. It will be great to go and watch the best that NC has to offer at Cary this weekend. Congratulations to Cary High School for 50 years of this incredible Parade/competition.

  • nisa-pizza Oct 27, 2008

    I was a majorette (don't even know if they have many of those anymore) back in school 74-77. I played percussion in symphonic band though. I remember taking the bus ride from Jacksonville, NC to attend Cary Band Day back then. It was alway freezing cold even with the fire batons.

    I'd never would have thought I'd be living in Cary decades later but here I am. I absolutely loved going to the competitions. Although the competitions aren't very far from where I live, I have yet to go to one here and I've lived in Cary since '92.

    It's sad I know, but I'm always busy with my business trying to gear up for the holiday season so I never have the time to go which hurts because I could watch competitions like the professional DCI or the Broadway show "BLAST" (the artistic band performance on stage) for days on end.

    Those memories are among the best and fondest that I've ever had.

  • ReallyBigYawn Oct 24, 2008

    I'm a Clayton High Alumni Color Guard Dad. My daughter graduated last year after 4 years of Marching/Winter Guard seasons. Now she's instructing color guard for Clayton. I'm sure others here can relate. Band is an extremely expensive and rewarding experience and you get to work along side some of the most dedicated parents and exceptional kids in school! Even the bands that finish last in competitions have worked hard to get there and are proud of what they do.
    If your teen has a chance and wants to do it, I highly recommend they try and join a DCI group over the summer after their sophomore year. It will make your teen grow up. They'll be cleaning and folding their own clothes when they return home! Band has been a great experience! See ya at Cary Band Day!

  • just my2cents Oct 24, 2008

    I am a band mom, my son is a senior. He plays the trumpet, and has since 6th grade. We will be at the Cary Band DAys parade and competition. That will be the 6th compatition we've been to in as many weeks. Being in the band is tough, being a band mom is tougher! :o) (I was a majorette)

  • Hey yuall Oct 24, 2008

    I was a 'flag' in my high school's marching band in Northern KY. I was made an honorary member of the baritone section my first year of marching because that's where I stood at the start of our show!! I have wonderful memories of my marching years-still in touch with friends from those days some 30+ years later! I married a 'tuba' from another high school and 3 of our 4 kids have marched high school and some college. Thanks for reminding me of those days!!!!

  • murdock Oct 24, 2008

    I took piano lessons from 3rd grade to about 9th grade. I started with the flute in 7th grade and stayed with that and piccolo all through high school. I also took some piano lessons from a PhD (WOW) in college (at ECU). Unfortunately, in high school we only had Pep band until my senior year when we had a small marching band. We were not very good, although at our one competition, I got praised for my posture and solo. I still play the piano today and I sing with my church's choir. Music is a big part of my life.

  • Big Guy Oct 24, 2008

    Seems like Jimmy "Scooby" Burns was long time director of the Cary band. Hopefully he will be in attendance at the annual Band Day.




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