07/24/05 — Andrade takes over WCC band program

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Andrade takes over WCC band program

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on July 24, 2005 2:00 AM

SEVEN SPRINGS -- Wayne Community College has a new band leader, Matt Andrade of Spring Creek High School's Performing Arts Department.

He replaces the college's former band director, Danny Arnette, who resigned this summer.

Andrade said he plans to visit all of the high schools and middle schools and recruit members for the Wayne Community College Concert Band from throughout the community. Goldsboro is a gold mine for talent, he said.

"I want professionals to dust the cobwebs off their instruments," he said. "I know you're missing music."

Andrade will lead the music at both schools this fall. His high school students are already used to performing with the Wayne Community College group. The college group welcomes musicians from the community, and the high school band members have been rehearsing and performing with the college group since the Christmas of 2003.

Andrade, who is in his third year at Spring Creek, integrated the work with the college band into the curriculum for his students the following spring.

He had transferred to Spring Creek from Goldsboro High School where he taught chorus.

Teaching music in the high schools was his second career.

He had grown up in a musical family, with his mother a violinist and his father a percussionist. He had performed with the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. He earned a bachelor's degree on a full music scholarship from Columbus State University and went into the Marines after graduating.

He had heard the Marine Corps was the best branch of service and auditioned with the Marine Corps band before he graduated from the university. He was in the Marines three years and eight months.

"The audition went so well I skipped the military school of music and went straight to Cherry Point immediately after boot camp and Marine combat training," he said. He became the Marine Corps band's percussion section leader and assistant small ensemble conductor.

"Your primary job as a Marine is infantry, and music is secondary," he said.

He came to Wayne County straight out of the Marines and spent two years at Goldsboro High. He said by the end of his career there, his students had performed in more than 40 concerts in the community. Stage Struck asked him to be its music director both summers.

He said he transferred to Spring Creek to help build the school's performing arts program. The program includes beginning and advanced theater, beginner chorus, show choir, a 60-member marching band, a 35-member concert band, an 18-member jazz band and a five-member saxophone ensemble. He also leads a clarinet ensemble and a percussion ensemble. He directs the high school's first rock band, the Gator Dayz, which has performed at the Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach.

Spring Creek during his tenure has won 60 awards and trophies.