Marching spirit

Published 11:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2010

Franklin High School band members Carino Garzo, left, Parish Garza, Hannah, Asya Lee and Queenasia Person perform during halftime of the Northampton game on Wednesday. -- Frank A. Davis | Tidewater News

FRANKLIN—New Franklin High and J.P. King Middle School Band Director Ricky Edwards has some high aspirations for the music program.

Edwards, who began working here on Aug. 10, has already more than doubled the number of members in the high school marching band, which made its season debut during the home football opener against Northampton High School on Wednesday night at Armory Stadium.

“When I first got here, there were about 14 (members),” he said.

That included instrumentalists, dance line, flags and majorettes.

As of this week, there are 35.

“It’s been a building project,” Edwards said. “They’re doing good and working hard. Right now, our main focus is developing the sound.”

The band has 15 musicians in addition to the Crystal Fire dancers, the Sparkling Sapphire majorettes and the Diamonds of Perfect flag corps.

Edwards said a band’s foundation begins with elementary school students and is further developed with middle school students.

“That’s a great recruiting tool for the high school,” Edwards said.

He has no set number of members in mind for the band, but would rather devote efforts to its sound.

The marching band will put on three to four shows this fall.

Edwards came to Franklin from Delaware State University in Dover, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in trumpet. A native of Wilmington, Del., he was his alma mater’s assistant band director for 1½ years.

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