During the global coronavirus pandemic, many people have come to realize some of the everyday things we take for granted. Things such as time with family, friends and some simple pleasures are foremost in our minds these days.

Polk County is undoubtedly full of tight-knit groups that are realizing what’s been taken for granted. One of the simple pleasures that may be missed this fall is the music provided to the community by the Polk County High School Cadets.

With no concrete news about football games, marching band competitions and other community gatherings, the band students are in limbo like other student groups.

What is not commonly known to members of the community is what goes on during the course of an academic year for band members. Besides the obvious rehearsal time, the students discover their talents, realize the satisfaction of hard work, the thrill of competition, the challenge of leadership, the importance of responsibility and the appreciation of their audience. The impact of these opportunities for students cannot be understated.

On this note, the Polk County High School Band would like to express its appreciation for the $18,000 grant awarded by the Polk County Community Foundation to the band for the 2019-2020 academic year. This grant allows any student to become a member of the band free of any fees normally required to join the band. The grant also provides funds so that the students are able to attend a two-week summer camp in preparation for the many upcoming community activities for the marching band.

Additionally, the PCHS Band would like to acknowledge the generosity of the community members who made this grant possible for the students. As a show of appreciation to the Polk County Community Foundation and the Polk County community, the PCHS Band participated in the following community activities in 2019:

  • Home and away football games
  • Homecoming Parade
  • Two marching band competitions
  • The Charters of Freedom Dedication Ceremony
  • Hosted the Polk/Rutherford County Honors Band event in November
  • The Christmas Parade in Columbus
  • The Christmas Stroll in Tryon

The Friends of the Band would like to recognize the 2019 Polk County Cadets:.

Flutes: Itzel Avellaneda Cruz, Grace Lucas, Yuridia Montego Hernandez

Clarinets: Jeanine Jackson, Kasey Trzemzaiski, Elianna Gerbos, Jayden Ross, Chesnee Thomas

Alto Saxaphones: Andrew Krouse, Layla Paulsen, Elizabeth Seaman

Trumpets: Alycia Olivares-Cruz, Tori Snipes, Kennedy Huddleston, Autumn Mazzerella

Baritones: Tori Strickland, Henry Gardner, Sabrina Ballard

Tuba: Joe Nichols

Percussion: Erin Heston, Anastasia Ballard, Lee Paulsen, Lindsey Marcello, Jesse James, Thaddeus Ruff, Gavin Patterson, Laura Packer, Jeremiah Petoia

Synthesizer: Adelaide Gardner

Guard: Sadie Rogers, Nikki Frantz, Chloe Patterson, Victoria Worthington

The highlight of the fall season was the production of the band’s competition show, Tesla-Spark of Imagination, directed by Cindy Gilbert, Matt Putnam and Jennifer Carney. Fellow staff members were Jody McCarn, Mike Hyde, Brittany Tafoya-Stein and Spencer Taunton. Band officers were Jacob Grigg – drum major, Itzel Cruz – band and woodwind captain, Alycia Cruz – brass captain, Erin Heston and Laura Packer – percussion captains, Sadie Rogers – guard captain, Anastasia Ballard – equipment captain, Andrew Krause, Grace Lucas, Jesse James, Tori Snipes, Jeanine Jackson, Sabrina Ballard – equipment helpers.

The Polk County Cadets are proud to announce the following awards earned during the 2019 Marching Band season:

  • October 5th at the Cedar Cliffs Classic hosted by A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville: 2nd place–Drum Major, 2nd place-Percussion, 1st place-Guard, 1st place-Music, 1st place-Visual Effect, 1st place Overall Class 1A
  • October 12th at the Trojan Tournament of Bands hosted by Chase High School in Forest City: 1st place-Drum Major, 1st place-Percussion, 1st place-Guard, 1st place-Music, 1st place-Visual Effect, 1st place Overall Class 1A. Their efforts were rewarded with Silver Division Grand Champion. Of special note, the band had played in the Homecoming Parade and for the Homecoming game late into the previous night and performed the following day in unseasonably hot temperatures. Another show of their dedication and hard work all of which would not be possible without the generosity of the Polk County Community Foundation.

In advance of the upcoming academic year, the Polk County High School Band would like to gratefully acknowledge the $25,000 grant recently awarded by the Polk County Community Foundation for 2020-2021. So this fall, please come and enjoy one of the simple pleasures of music by some dedicated musicians.