Statesboro High student Josh Sutcliffe has had a dream for a long time, and that dream is about to become reality. A dream of Southeast Bulloch High's Morgan Driggers also has come true.
He learned recently that he was selected to play with the Carolina Crowns, a World Class (formerly Division One) Marching Band, one of the very best corps in the United States.
Competition is so great for the spots in the Carolina Crown Corps that they hold three regional audition camps (Western, Eastern, and Southern U.S.) every winter. Once the very best from the three camps are selected, they hold a single training camp at Gardner Webb College in Shelby, N.C., which is set for later this summer.
Statesboro High School band director Joe Ferguson said that Sutcliffe “is very self-motivated and is really passionate about his music.” "If there is something Josh doesn’t know how to do, he will keep at it until he does. The other kids really respect him, and even made him Brass Captain this year.”
He is one of only five high school students in the 150 member Crown Corps.
Sutcliffe said the two things that excite him the most about his upcoming summer are being part of the close-knit brotherhood of the Corps, and the fact that having had the Corps experience will help open many doors in the future to further his education and gain full-time employment.
Statesboro High School principal Marty Waters said about Sutcliffe:
“He is always at the top of his class, he’s very active in sports, and he’s been in the Marching Ban, the Concert Band, and the Wind Ensemble here at SHS. In addition, he’s very polite, quiet and unassuming, he’s not at all pretentious, and he’s respectful, considerate and compassionate. In other words, he’s an All-American boy”.
Meanwhile, over at Southeast Bulloch High School senior Morgan Driggers has been a member of the SEB Marching and Concert Bands for the last three years. She has just been chosen to be a part of the Teal Sound Drum and Bugle Corps out of Jacksonville, Fla. Teal Sound is one of the top Open Class (formerly known as Division Two) Marching Bands.
To earn her selection, Driggers competed against hundreds of potential cadets from all over the world, including Japan and Korea, at the monthly audition camps in Jacksonville. According to Driggers, she was notified back in February that she had made the Corps.
According to SEB Band Director Matt Olsen, when Driggers arrived, “she had never played a band instrument in her life.” He first set her up with a clarinet, and then a saxophone. Morgan then decided to try playing the Mellophone, the band version of the French Horn.
Olsen said: “If Morgan wants something, she doesn’t just stand there but does what she has to do to get it. She knows this is the only way to succeed. In fact, she epitomizes the SEB Band Motto: “Adapt and Overcome.”
SEB Principal Joni Walker Seier said about Driggers:
“Morgan is one of those students who has always done her utmost to make the school shine. We are very proud that her efforts have been properly recognized.”
Driggers has many new experiences awaiting her as she leaves for the summer, including meeting all of the new friends in the Teal Corps, and going all of the new places the band will travel.
She said “I know that my new family at Teal Sound will make leaving SEB a lot easier. I intend to stay in the Teal Sound Corps as long as I can.”