History of the Hickory Ridge High School Band
Hickory Ridge High School opened its doors to students and staff in the fall of 2007 as the sixth high school in the Cabarrus County (North Carolina) school system. The school opened without a senior class, and with an enrollment of about 1,000 students. Since then, the school has grown to over 1,800 students.
Mr. White has been the Director of Bands at Hickory Ridge since the school opened. Like the growth in enrollment of the school, the band program has grown from 56 students during the inaugural year to a program of over 170 students. The comprehensive instrumental music program consists of wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert band, two jazz ensembles, marching band, winterguard, percussion ensemble, low brass ensemble, musical pit orchestra, several chamber groups, as well as courses in beginning and Advanced Placement Music Theory.
The concert ensembles have consistently earned superior ratings in Grade IV-Masterworks music at the North Carolina Concert Band Music Performance Assessment (MPA) events. They have traveled throughout the eastern part of the United States, playing for festivals in New Orleans, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Orlando. In 2018 the Wind Ensemble particiapted in a 10-day performance tour of Shaoxin, Jiaxin, Shanghai, and Beijing at the invitation of the US-China Cultural and Educational Foundation. The concert ensembles will travel to Europe in April 2023 for a series of concerts in Vienna, Prague, and Salzburg.
The Blue Regiment marching band has won hundreds of first place awards and numerous grand championships at local and regional events. They have received only superior ratings in North Carolina Marching Band MPA festivals. In addition, they have been frequent finalists at large regional marching events, including the Western Carolina University Tournament of Champions. The ensemble has represented our school, community, and state in the 2009 and 2016 London New Year’s Day Parade, as well as the 2020 Rome New Year's Day Parade.
The jazz band has earned superior ratings at the North Carolina Jazz Band MPA, and gives several performances each year at regional jazz festivals, school events, and community functions.
The Hickory Ridge Winter Guard were consistent medalists in the Carolina Winter Ensembles Association, were finalists at the WGI Nashville Regional, and semi-finalists at the 2013 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.
Hickory Ridge band students consistently place into the All-County, All-District and All-State Honor Bands. They have participated in the Bands of America Honor Band in the Rose Parade, the Music for All Honor Band of America, the US Army All-American Marching Band, and the “President’s Own” Marine Band Concerto Competition. They have also participated in honor band clinics at the following universities: Coastal Carolina University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, University of South Carolina, Virginia Tech University, and Winthrop University.
Many former students hold undergraduate and graduate music degrees from colleges and universities across the country, hold positions in major performing ensembles, and are music educators from elementary to collegiate levels.