North Brunswick Band prepares for Independence Day Parade in DC


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County marching band will be representing North Carolina on the national stage in Washington, DC this Fourth of July.

Last year, Senator Thom Tillis nominated the Marching Scorpions to represent North Carolina in the 2019 National Independence Day Parade.

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The band applied, and the parade committee accepted them.

“It means a lot, to play in front of a lot of people, and show them what our talent is and represent North Carolina,” Daveon Troy, a senior snare drum player, said.

“It means that we’re doing something right,” North Brunswick Band Director Christopher Cook said. “It means that our kids are really focused and they practice hard and it means that we’re being noticed.”

Cook said the honor means a lot — especially after Hurricane Florence.

“We had about half of our students that were impacted, some of which had to move out of their residence,” Cook said. “You know, I had a few students that couldn’t come back to school right away because they were trying to find a place to live.”

The group has a fundraising goal of $30,000 dollars for the trip. Part of the money will come from donations and part will come from the Scorpion Arts Summer Camp.

“This is an opportunity not just for us to fundraise, but for us to reach out to elementary students and get them interested in the arts,” Cook said.

The band held their first outdoor practice of the summer on Tuesday. Students practiced in heavy sweatshirts and sweatpants to simulate the heavy uniforms they will wear in the parade.

“What we’re trying to do is, we’re trying to keep the kids safe,” Band Director Christopher Cook said. “Get them used to the heat. So we put on sweatpants to simulate our uniforms, so that when we march, we can kind of get accustomed to the heat. We’re not just out here the whole time. We actually take a cool down period.”

“A lot of conditioning,” Cole Fleming, a senior trombone player, said. “It’s going to be really hot in Washington, DC on the Fourth of July so it’ll be a lot of marching around the school.”

Students say being a part of the band takes hard work and dedication — qualities that should shine bright on the national stage this Fourth of July.

“Some students have never left Leland, let alone the state of North Carolina,” Cook said. “So this is just an opportunity for them to experience something different and to know that the world is big and you can explore and go wherever you’d like to go to.”

The band leaves for Washington, DC July 3, 2019.

Cook says the band is close to reaching their fundraising goal. To help them reach their goal or to learn more about the program, click here.

There will also be Fourth of July festivities happening in the Cape Fear.

Cook doesn’t want people to forget about the South Brunswick and West Brunswick bands which will be performing locally in the NC Fourth of July Parade in Southport.