The NRCA band program involves over 150 students in grades 5 through 12 who fill over 250 performance slots across seven large ensembles that include our:
- Marching Band
- High School Wind Ensemble
- Honors Jazz Ensemble
- Middle School Band
- Intermediate Jazz Ensemble
- 6th Grade Band
- 5th Grade Beginning Band
The NRCA instrumental ensembles average seven or more performances a year in our Fine Arts Center. Four large ensembles regularly participate in regional adjudication. The Marching Knights’ average season includes five or six performances for home football games, three Marching Band Competitions, and at least one Christmas Parade.
This year’s achievements in competition mark the 12th straight year that the Marching Knights have been awarded a class championship in competition with area public school programs. Class championship awards were once again received at both the Wakefield Heart of Carolina and at Southeast Raleigh’s Bulldog Band Bash for the class A division in the fall 2016 season. The Marching Knights have also earned a total of nine “Superior” performance ratings at the Bulldog Band Bash. Their crowd pleasing shows have not only pleased the judges but have also earned them a total of 9 People’s Choice awards for best show regardless of class. More exciting is that in 2014 and 2015 the Marching Knights were once again able to take a distinctly Christian show to competition as a light to our community.
Our ensembles at NRCA have participated in venues expected of exemplary music education programs. In March 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017, the High School Wind Ensemble participated in an NAfME endorsed Music Performing workshop at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL and coupled these opportunities with concerts in Downtown Disney. The Wind Ensemble is scheduled to return to Orlando again in February 2019.
Individuals and ensembles of NRCA jazz and concert bands have done well in competitive and adjudicated opportunities for ACSI, NCCSA and NCBDA/NAfME. Since 2008, NRCA Concert and Jazz ensembles have earned 32 Superior and 2 Excellent ratings as participants in the Southeast Regional ACSI Fine Arts Festival. Since 2010, NRCA has been among the highest in total number of students to participate in the North Carolina Christian School Association All-State auditioned bands. Combined, NRCA middle school and high school band members held eight or more principal chairs in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the NCCSA auditioned ensembles. At this time, 49 auditioned spots have been offered to NRCA band members for the 2016 NCCSA auditioned ensembles. Since some of our talented students earned more than one principal chair, NRCA will fill 11 of the 14 offered principal spots for 2016.
Numerous band alumni have gone on to major in music and participate in collegiate programs and some with significant scholarships. Alumni have represented our program well as music majors, minors and ensemble musicians at the Manhattan School of Music, Belmont University, Appalachian State, Elon University, NC State, UNCG, ECU and Liberty University while often serving as section leaders and principal chairs. In 2015, former NRCA field commander Michael Scanlan (Class of 2011) was the first band alumni to ever serve as a collegiate drum major directing for the NC State’s Power Sound of the South. It is also worthy to note that, much of the music that the Marching Knights have performed over the last five years has been written or arranged by Belmont graduate and NRCA band alumna Natalie Bell (Class of 2012). NRCA is proud to see more and more band alumni making their mark as music educators, arrangers and performers in numerous professional venues.