In the fall of 2000, when we opened Wakefield High School, the band program consisted of a mere 40 students. Now in its fourteenth year and with the support of very dedicated students, band boosters, instructional staff, and administrators, the program supports music education for over 200 students. This comprehensive band program consists of an auditioned Wind Ensemble, two Concert Bands, a Marching Band, a Symphonic Band for non-marchers, three Winter Guards, a Winter Percussion ensemble, a Jazz Band, various chamber ensembles and an AP Music Theory program. The program is currently under the direction of Brian Munoz.
The band program has been built on a student centered principle and environment. The elected student Band Council provides guidance to the director and boosters as to the direction of growth of the program as well as leadership for the other student members of the bands. In addition, these students provide many of the day-to-day operational services for the band program.
Since its inception the Wakefield HS Band program has earned Superior Ratings and First Place Awards in numerous Marching Band Contests, Winter Guard Contests and at the North Carolina Central District Bandmaster Association’s Concert Festival. The Marching Band travels throughout North Carolina each fall performing and competing. Beginning in 2003 with a trip to Giants Stadium in New Jersey where it was crowned the USSBA All-Class Grand Champion, it has had a goal to travel to a national event each year. Since that time the band has began participating in Bands of America Regional Championship events. In 2006 and 2008, Wakefield was one of only four North Carolina groups to earn finalist status at a BOA event. In 2009, the band finished 4th at the Massillon, OH regional winning the 4A classification. The band performed for the North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural in January 2005. It was one of only two high school bands to receive an invitation to perform at the 2005 NC Music Educator’s Conference.
The Winter Guards are active in Atlantic Indoor Association and Winter Guard International events. The Maroon Guard is a WGI Regional Finalist and AIA Circuit Medalists. In 2006, the WHS Maroon Winter Guard became the first guard from Wake County to make Finals at World Championships where they finished 13th. At the 2008 WGI World Championships they finished 4th in the nation and were promoted to Open Class. In 2010 they became the first WCPSS Guard to make finals in Open Class. The Silver Guard was a 2006, 2008, 2009 AIA Circuit Silver Medalist, a 2007 Bronze Medalist, 2010 Gold Medalist and has earned finalist status at every WGI Regional event it has attended except one. The Winter Percussion debuted in 2009 and made its first trip to World Championships in 2010.
In 2009-2010, the Wakefield Bands was one of only a few band programs to have multiple ensembles perform at the NC Music Performance Adjudication and earn unanimous Superior ratings.
Students from the bands consistently place in the Central District All-District Bands and the North Carolina All-State Honor Bands. Several Band Alumni are now working on music degrees in colleges and universities as well as performing with ensembles across the United States.
We credit our successes to a focus on simple, yet effective, goals that have served our purposes from the very beginning with 40 students, to today, with over 200. After each performance and from rehearsal to rehearsal, we take time for self-evaluation with regards to these goals. If we successfully meet these goals, than we can consider our performance a success, regardless of how a given panel of adjudicators may rank or rate us.