Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Powell Middle, Nature Coast Technical High share band director

BROOKSVILLE — Ross McCarthy, 24, is the Powell Middle School band director by day. After school, three days a week, he's also the band director at Nature Coast Technical High School.

"I have a full course load here and I do six hours a week after school at Nature Coast," the third-year band director said. Football games add five hours a week when there are home games. For directing the Nature Coast band, McCarthy earns the band director supplement.

Because of budget cuts, Nature Coast went without a band last school year.

To get things going again at the school, McCarthy talked to his principal, Jamie Young, who approached Nature Coast's principal, Toni-Ann Noyes. They met and gave the go-ahead for McCarthy to start up the band program to see what he could build.

"I would like to establish a full and consistent band program at Nature Coast," he said

At Powell, McCarthy directs the concert, symphonic, jazz and three beginning bands. Right now, the Nature Coast band is made of only 12 members. "Twelve very dedicated freshmen and sophomores," McCarthy said.

Powell band students zoned for Nature Coast or other students who choose to go there for the school's programs, and who want to remain in a band, were out of luck until McCarthy stepped in. Many students at Challenger K8, where McCarthy's wife, Michelle, is band director, also move on to Nature Coast.

Now seventh- and eighth-graders, Ross McCarthy said, "feel comfortable knowing they have a place to go at Nature Coast. There's a lot of room to grow."

McCarthy had plenty of local band training himself. "I grew up here," he said. "This is home for me. I actually went to this middle school."

As a Central High School freshman, McCarthy was a student of Joe Harrin, the current Hernando High band director (who also directs the Parrott Middle School band.) It was a small band at the time, McCarthy said, but Harrin built it up.

"By the time I was a junior, it was a full 60-piece band with a marching show and superiors (at competitions). Then Harrin left for Hernando High, McCarthy finished at Central High and went on to Stetson University to become a band director himself, a job he really enjoys.

"I love it," he said. "I love it very much."

Powell Middle, Nature Coast Technical High share band director 10/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 17, 2013 6:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. North Korean missile launch may be testing rivals, not technology


    SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's latest missile test Monday may have less to do with perfecting its weapons technology than with showing U.S. and South Korean forces in the region that it can strike them at will.

    A woman watches a TV screen showing a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday,. North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile that landed in Japan's maritime economic zone Monday, officials said, the latest in a string of test launches as the North seeks to build nuclear-tipped ICBMs that can reach the U.S. mainland. [AP Photo/Lee Jin-man]
  2. PolitiFact: Fact-checking Samantha Bee on Florida felonies

    State Roundup

    Comedian Samantha Bee traveled to Florida, where she says "retirees and democracy go to die," to shed light on how the state makes it difficult for felons to regain the right to vote.

    Samantha Bee hosts Full Frontal with Samantha Bee on TBS. Bee portrayed some of Florida’s felonies as not so serious on her show.
  3. For some, Memorial Day comes around more than just once a year


    ST. PETERSBURG — It is shortly before nine on a Friday morning, and the heat is already approaching unbearable levels at Bay Pines National Cemetery.

    Iles carefully digs up the St. Augustine grass so that it will continue to grow when it is placed back on the gravesite. He tries not to disturb the root base.
  4. State budget uncertainty has school districts 'very concerned'


    While waiting for Gov. Rick Scott to approve or veto the Legislature's education budget, the people in charge of school district checkbooks are trying hard to find a bottom line.

    It has not been easy.

    The unsettled nature of Florida’s education budget has left school districts with questions about how they will make ends meet next year. []
  5. Ernest Hooper: Removing Confederate symbols doesn't eliminate persistent mindset

    Human Interest

    The debate has begun about removing a Confederate statue from outside the Hillsborough County Courthouse, and its removal is long overdue.

    Robert E. Lee Elementary, 305 E. Columbus Drive in Tampa, originally opened its doors in the early 1910s as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School. [Times file]