What are parents saying? Testimonials

Our family has been part of the Athens Marching Band program for eight years. All three of our children have participated and the positive impact it had on their high school experience is immeasurable. They made life-long friends, gained valuable leadership and organizational skills, and had a lot of fun! As a bonus, through the many volunteer opportunities, my husband and I were able to naturally be involved with our children and their friends during this formative time in their lives. -Cathy Stockdale - Jazz, Symphonic, Marching Band
The Athens Marching Band is about much more than playing halftimes at football games. It’s about uniting 100 students in a common cause – to bring out the best in not only their musicianship and coordination but to work together within units and as a group from summer practices all the way to civic performances and competitions. The students learn to count on and support each other and in the process, many build friendships that will last a lifetime. I should know – I’m not only a proud AHSMB parent, but an alum. -Sean McDonnell, Marching Band/Symphonic Band Parent
Our family has been a part of the Athens band program for 8 years - and we have 3 more to go! Our children have been involved in marching band, campus band, symphonic band, pep band, color guard and winter guard. It has been one of the highlights of their years in high school. As parents, my husband and I have enjoyed volunteering and meeting great people (and our kids mostly don’t mind us being there!) Aside from the growth we have seen in their musical abilities, they have grown as individuals. They have worked hard and developed leadership skills. Most importantly, they have cultivated long-lasting friendships. Athens is a big school, with many opportunities. Our children were able to balance their band commitments with other interests. However, it was the band room that always felt like home to them. -Christine Lee- Symphonic, Campus, Marching Band, Winterguard
I am so thankful for marching band! My son is a freshman this year and the opportunity to be a part of marching band made such a difference in his transition to high school. With everything being virtual, marching band allowed him the opportunity to safely be with his peers, make new friends and get out of the house. I had always heard that there was a bond between the band students, but I was surprised at how many friends my son made. He even said that without marching band this year, there wouldn’t have been much to look forward to about school. He has also said how much he is looking forward to this summer when (hopefully) he can go away to band camp. It really is a wonderful program where students can nurture their love of music and make new friends. -Sherree Wilson, Concert Band / Marching Band Parent
Our daughter has been involved with Marching Band (she's in color guard and winterguard) since she was in 6th grade. She lives and breathes for guard. There is such a sense of family and camaraderie with the entire Marching Band program. We have always been impressed with the organization, from the band camp to the events. We have spent so many fun evenings at parent nights, and we really enjoy volunteering during home shows. It's exciting to see the kids perform after so much practice. The kids take such pride in their work, and we actually get choked up watching their shows! When our daughter first asked to join guard, we had never heard of it, and knew nothing about the program. But the parents, coaches, and Mr. Cable made us feel welcome and were so enthusiastic, it was easy to want to get involved too. We're now totally into being guard parents, and we volunteer at every event. In 2020, Mr. Cable, the coaches, and TABB did a fantastic job putting together socially distant/safe band camp, practices, and performances. The kids were thrilled to be able to develop a show during the uncertain times of the pandemic. Our family can't wait to get back to home shows, family nights, traveling to shows at other schools, sitting in the stands cheering as loud as we can, football game halftime shows...it's going to be extra emotional for all ofus when we get back to normal. In the meantime, we are confident that the leadership team will do everything they can to help the kids practice and perform in the program they love. -Aileen Dickson, Marching Band/Winterguard Parent
I am writing this letter in support of the Athens band program. I came into this experience knowing nothing about band. Although my husband was a percussionist in his high school band, I have no prior band experience, so I was truly a “newbie”. There’s so many positives that it’s hard to put it all in one e-mail, but let me highlight a few positive things that we got out of this experience. The kids feel a part of their high school, even before they step foot in the building. My freshman had hardly any nerves about starting a new school or meeting new people because of the band opportunities he had in the summer prior to school starting. It immediately makes them feel a part of something important. Improved skill set. I was blown away at how much he learned in just one short season. Don’t be intimidated if you think your child is not the world’s best musician—the repetition and practice will get them to where they need to be! Mr. Cable is terrific! He is organized, cares about the kids, holds them accountable for strong work ethic and good behavior, and does a great job communicating. You too, Mrs. Johnson! 😊 Your kids are in great hands! Your kids will be busy, but it’s do-able! Jack did both JV soccer and band at the same time. Don’t assume you have to choose one hobby over another. By working together as a teacher-parent team, you can find a way to make it work and still give 100% to band. Although last year was modified due to COVID, Jack still talks about fun memories from meets and good times at camp that he had last year. He is excited for this upcoming year, and I hope that you strongly consider if for your child. -Jayne Kelly, Campus Band/Marching Band Parent
Marching band (as well as band classes) provided a fabulous group for my kids to BELONG to – and it really brought that sense of BELONGING in a powerful way. I think each teen needs a “thing” or a group to belong to in high school to hang on to, help them navigate their teen years, and give them a place and people to grow with. And if music is their thing, marching band is THE place for belonging! From band, my kids learned a lot of leadership skills and social skills as well as musical skills, and saw the effects of working hard individually and collectively to accomplish a goal. AND –it was a lot of fun! -Marcia Marshall – parent of baritone, flute, and percussion former band students and a few strings thrown in the mix.
MUSIC - It's not what I do, it's who I am.