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PHOTOS: Marching Raiders perform for parents

ROCKINGHAM — The Marching Raiders stepped onto the football field Friday evening for their first public performance.

The 60-plus member band put on a show at Raider for their families to demonstrate what they’ve been working on all summer, according to Band Director Edwin Carter.

“They’re really nervous,” Carter said. “The main thing I told them is, ‘Make sure, no matter what you do, don’t tell on yourself.’ And for the most part … the people knew that they messed up, they kinda tried their best to fix it.

“So, that’s what we’re going to do, that’s what it takes, that’s why we have these practices,” Carter added. “We just aim to do a little bit better every time.”

Carter was hired as the director in 2019.

Leading the band as drum major this year is senior Cyncere Bell.

Band camp started the last week of July, with practices from 9 a.m. to noon and 6-8 p.m. “because I didn’t want to have them out in the hottest part of the day,” Carter said.

Once they started getting familiar with the show in the class, Carter said they switched to alternating evening and morning practices.

Some kids missed a few practices due to life situations, so there was some backtracking, he added.

“But, overall, the kids have worked really hard,” Carter continued. “And even though we didn’t have the best performance this evening, we’re going to strive to continue to do better every day.”

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Following the performance, the students and parents were fed by the booster club, Raider Band Fans.

There are 69 students — including the color guard — in the band, with about 62 being consistent, according to Carter.

Most of the students on the drum line are freshmen.

“It’s their first year and they’re picking up and trying to learn really quickly,” he said.

If the finances are in order, Carter said the band plans to participate in five band competitions this year, but bringing home trophies isn’t necessarily the goal.

“If we win something, great,” he said. “If not, it’s to continue to make the band better so we can live up to the expectation the county wants.”