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Carteret Collective's Successful Season

Carteret Collective Sound Color Guard preparing to perform at Bands of America in Conway, SC
Photo taken by Sarah Tell

Dylan Livingston-Keeter, Club Relations

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Carteret Collective Sound marching band just wrapped up another amazing fall season, with an outstanding 3rd place overall performance at the Crystal Coast Band Classic in Havelock, NC. Along with this 3rd place overall award, the band brought home 1st place awards in their class for Percussion, Visual Performance, and Music Performance, and 2nd place awards in Drum Major and Color Guard. From two weeks of band camp in the hot sun while blasting Christina Aguilera during breaks, to scrambling to get into uniforms on the charter buses on the way to Bands of America, the Carteret Collective Sound had an outstanding season that many will never forget.

The Carteret Collective Sound, established in 2021, is a group of competitive marching band ensembles that combines the talents of West Carteret, East Carteret, and Croatan. The group was formed to create a more competitive experience for band students in Carteret County, while also providing a more casual atmosphere at each high school’s home band. This gives band students the opportunity to choose their career path they want to pursue, while allowing more people to participate in other activities as well as band. Carteret Collective Sound offers many ensembles besides the regular fall competition season, including Indoor Winds, Indoor Percussion, Winterguard, and the Carteret Collective Honor Band. 

The band is under the direction of Andy Wright from West Carteret, Kinsey Holland from Croatan, and Ashley Wright from East Carteret. Among them are other staff members including Sammy Jacobus and Charly Priddy for colorguard, and Joe Banks and Stephen Howell for percussion. The band is also led by their drum majors, Vinh Le of West Carteret, Madison Teel of East Carteret, and Mackenzie Phillips of Croatan. Thanks to this amazing group of staff (and many others), the band has been able to have 3 full years of successful performances and is flourishing more than anyone could have imagined. 

This year’s production, “Genie in a Bottle”, was a middle-eastern inspired show that took inspiration from movies such as “Aladdin'' and featured music from artists such as Shakira and Christina Aguilera. The colorguard was dressed in outfits similar to that of Princess Jasmine from “Aladdin”, and the props resembled genie bottles and lamps. 

Over the course of the fall season, Carteret Collective Sound competed at competitions at Cleveland High School, Topsail High School, and Havelock High School. On top of these competitions, the band, for the first time, competed at a Bands of America Regional in Conway, South Carolina at Coastal Carolina University. This was a huge accomplishment for the band, as attending one of these competitions is a huge honor and features the best of the best from nearby states. The band competed against nationally recognized and awarded bands such as Wando High School, James F. Byrnes High School, and Nation Ford High School. In the end, The Carteret Collective Sound finished in 16th place, only two points shy of qualifying for the finals round. This was a monumental accomplishment for not just the season but also the entire history of the marching ensemble. 

After their performance in Conway, South Carolina, Carteret Collective Sound had a phenomenal performance at Topsail High School, winning the entire competition and taking home 1st place in nearly every caption. This performance was then matched by the previously mentioned finish at the Crystal Coast Band Classic. Here, the band obtained an all-time high score of 96.90

Words cannot express how proud we are as a county for the Carteret Collective Sound. The immense dedication to their craft that this group exemplifies in one that I personally could not be more proud of. As a member of Carteret Collective Sound for the last 2 years, I see what goes into the daily rehearsals and performances, and I feel so blessed to have this amazing program that I can be a part of and give my time to. 

Be on the lookout for the upcoming winter season to stay up to date on all things Carteret Collective Sound. Our three winter groups, Winds, Percussion, and Guard, are currently auditioning and will be starting their seasons very soon! Feel free to follow the band on instagram to be kept in the loop: @carteretcollectivesound

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