Marching Band During COVID


Nicole Herrera, Staff Writer/Media Producer

It’s the beginning of the school year, and the Carolina Forest Marching Panthers are in full swing. With 110 members, the marching band will be performing in competitions throughout North and South Carolina, including the Bands of America Regional competition in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Director Mr. Mark Roddy expresses the band’s hard work and dedication throughout the last two years fighting COVID-19. “We are doing everything we can to provide a successful season this year. We’re taking extra precautions due to the new [COVID] variant and are pushing through the setbacks.” 

This year, the show is titled “Paint It Black,” based on the Rolling Stones single, “Paint It Black.” The band is preparing nearly six days a week to live up to their potential and maintain the reputation they have accumulated over the last four years. 

Head Drum Major Christian Chavez is a third year member of the band and is more than excited for the upcoming season. “This program has become such a vital part of my life, and COVID-19 has definitely made the season difficult, but we’re making it work. We have some big things planned and I’m ready to see them play out,” says Chavez. 

Over the last four years, the band has become very successful and well-known throughout North and South Carolina. Throughout the setbacks with COVID-19, they still have their eye on the prize for the future and plan to attend the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championship competition in 2023. 

“Winning is a reflection of the hard work and perseverance that the students have showcased. The staff and I are very proud of the program and the growth that has taken place since I’ve been teaching at this school. We hope to see the school’s support throughout the year,” says Mr. Roddy. “We want to show the school how much our magnitude has grown. We don’t just play, we teach and we teach well.” 

The band will continue their participation at the home football games this coming fall, along with their competition schedule.