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Northwood Marching Band has another successful season

Posted Sunday, November 13, 2005

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Pittsboro, NC - The highlight of the Northwood marching band season came on a dazzling Sat-urday afternoon for the Marching Chargers at the North Davidson High School Band Festival. This final competition on Saturday, November 5, marked the culmi-nation of months of practice, rehearsals, preparation, construction, revisions and refinement by the seventy-five band members, fourteen-member color guard, band director, assistant instructors, and crew of family and friends.

The Marching Chargers made a clean sweep of first place awards in every category of its 3A Division. First place awards were presented to the Northwood program, called Pathways, Highways & Skyways, for Music, Marching, Percus-sion, General Effect, Color Guard, and Drum Major Kara Smith, who is in her first year as drum major. It was an exhilarating finale after a third place finish the week before at the Lee Senior High Capital Brick Classic only .4 of a point below the first place band.

"To finish the year in such a fashion is a wonderful reward for all of their hard work. To sweep every category in our class is an accomplishment that that has yet to be achieved at Northwood. The stu-dents really gave it their best effort every time we competed and they saved the best for last! We could have never pulled any of it off with out the amazing help of our band boosters. There were so many par-ents involved this successful season! I would also like to give Mrs. Martha Stokes my special thanks for assisting with the band this year. She has been an instructor with our band for five years teaching mainly the trumpets during band camp. This year she took on a larger role as an assistant director for the Marching Chargers and her input has been invalu-able to the progress of the band,” said Eugene Cottrell, director of Northwood bands.

Fans will have several opportunities to see these excellent musicians in perform-ance before the semester ends. Their Holi-day Concert is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, on the Northwood campus. The band will perform in the annual Pitts-boro Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 4.

Efforts now focus on fundraising in preparation for next year's program that includes a competition in New York. Band members are selling raffle tickets for the annual $10,000 raffle as well as poinsettias and fruit for the holidays. Contact Director Eugene Cottrell (542-4181,, or Band Booster President Lib Harris (942-2445, to make a contri-bution.

Two members of the Northwood band described their experiences in the program and encouraged other students to become involved in school instrumental music.

“When I was standing on the field waiting for our name to be called for the awards, it was like nothing else I had ever done. When we heard our name called for every first place trophy in our class all I could think was what a great way to end my senior year. This is my seventh year with Mr. Cottrell and I would not trade a day of it for someone else. He has taught me more about life and music than any other teacher has and ever will. I feel that any one who wants to excel in their playing abilities and learn a little about life to join the Marching Charger Band,” said senior David Church. Church was a mid-dle and high school student of Cottrell's.

Junior Robert McCraw said, “I started my band career as a sixth grader at a dif-ferent school and that experience has helped me to appreciate more than most people how good a director Mr. Cottrell really is. This is the sixth year that I have been with Mr. C. and we are still discover-ing and fixing problems that I picked up from my first director. My only advice to the rising freshmen is: if you love to play your horn (or drum), and you're willing to work too get better at it, marching band is the thing for you. Mr. Cottrell will help you every step of the way, and you will be amazed at what you can do with just a little effort. Marching band has given me a sense of responsibility and work ethic. What once seemed like a mountain of homework now seems like fun. I work at Food Lion, and where as many of my co-workers worked for a couple of months and quit because it was too much work, I have had no problems and am currently in my sixth month.”

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