2017-12-02 / The Bullhorn

Parade appearance to include alumni

By Sara Coates
Bullhorn Report er


The Roxboro Community School (RCS) Band, led by Eric Swanson, will perform in the Roxboro Christmas Parade on Sat., Dec. 16, and band alumni are excited about joining current students for the performance. The Roxboro Community School (RCS) Band, led by Eric Swanson, will perform in the Roxboro Christmas Parade on Sat., Dec. 16, and band alumni are excited about joining current students for the performance. The Roxboro Community School (RCS) Band, led by Eric Swanson, will perform in the Roxboro Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

For the sixth consecutive year, a total of 120 band members, including those from grades seven through 12, will perform “Jingle Bells” in the streets of Uptown Roxboro.

This year, for the first time, five RCS alumni will join the performance.

Paris Ahrens-Nichols, Jameson Harris, Nicole Long, Megan Watkins, and Ashton Martin are among those excited to return.

When the opportunity arose, “I immediately worked out the details to come back and perform again,” said Ahrens- Nichols.

A nostalgic feeling surrounded the idea of returning back to their band roots, which Harris explained was because the class helped him feel free.

This was thanks to Swanson, who “created a home in [the band] room, [that] separated itself from the entire school,” said Harris.

Long, a previous member of the RCS Marching Band Color Guard, talked about opportunities she went on to receive in college, as a result of her high school experience. Becoming a member of the Appalachian State University Marching Mountaineers Color Guard, “I spent my freshman and sophomore years performing at football games, marching in the homecoming parades, and even doing a halftime show for the Carolina Panthers — way different than RCS,” said Long.

Acknowledging that parades are “challenging,” Ahrens-Nichols said, “They are a lot of fun too.”

“My senior year, I decided to wear a Santa beard and I remember hearing little kids, spectating the parade, being bewildered by Santa on the drums,” he said.

About the chance she has been given to return, Long said, “The bonds that were shared between our graduating class of 2013 band members have proven to last beyond those four years, and I am excited to get the whole group back together again.”

“I think I speak for all of us when I say that [Swanson] has definitely been a father figure to all of us,” Harris added.

Ahrens-Nichols concluded by saying that he would like to thank Swanson for the opportunity.

“[Swanson] is one of the greatest mentors that someone could ask for. I wouldn’t be who I am today without his support and guidance, and I am eternally grateful for that. I am excited to play under his direction once more,” said Ahrens-Nichols.

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