The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Waverly Place celebrates holiday season with tree lighting

Photos by Rose Luck
Lining up before the march was the Athens Drive marching band. Ready to play christmas music at the Waverly place tree lighting.

The Waverly Place tree lighting took place November 18. At the event, the Athens Drive High School marching band marched in sync together around the plaza as the color guard danced and swayed their colorful ribbons which shone a bright red for the crowd to see. The bustling music added to the brightness and cheer of the Christmas spirit, which was the primary goal of their performance.

“It took the band no time at all to learn the music and I mean that, one rehearsal. Because we are used to doing so many things at once at a fast pace,” said Jerome Markoch, Athens Drive Band Director. 

Learning a whole new set of songs to play at the events takes the Athens Drive marching band one rehearsal to learn all the marches and songs for the tree lighting and Christmas parades in Raleigh, Cary and Apex. Various songs rang out from the band as they marched through the streets. The songs were correlated to specific events. When Santa Clause first made his appearance, the song ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ began to play. ‘O Christmas tree’ played in relation to the first appearance of the glistening lights that were shown brightly on the tree.

“The band is allowed to play there because of our Dewey’s Bakery store, and as a thank you, they allow us to play during the tree lighting,” said Doc. 

Dewey’s Bakery store is one of the band’s biggest supporters. Dewey’s Bakery store is a meridian cookie shop that sells homemade jewelry, baked goods, and holiday decorations. Their support has come in many forms such as giving the marching band desserts made fresh from the bakery, helping the band advertise and advocate their event, to showing up on the night of the event to clap and cheer on the band. Dewey’s helps with the funding for the school’s band program. Every year for the past five years, the marching band of Athens Drive has done their ‘thank you’ to the town of Cary by performing at the event. 

“It’s a big honor for us because it’s a really big thing in Cary,” said Doc.

Athens Drive got recognition from the county for its appearance at the tree lighting. At the event,  friends and families, and many people gathered there to celebrate the holiday season. The crowds broke out in cheers when the mayor of Cary said “introducing Athens Drive Magnet high school marching band,” Harold Weinbrecht.

After all the practice the band did, it was time to perform. 

“This is my second year doing the lighting but my first year playing an instrument, overall, the songs we do are easy to learn and it’s really fun to put people in a Christmas spirit,” said August Langerhans, sophomore bass drummer. 

The band played in 40-degree weather for 15 minutes as they blew their trumpets and pounded on their drums to bring everyone together to celebrate the festivities of the season. But after the band leaves there are other forms of entertainment, like live music, acrobats and elves on stilts playing around with people and taking pictures. For many people, this event is a part of their Christmas traditions. 

“The performance melts your heart in the freezing cold,” said Conrad Clasen, senior snare drummer.

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