Impromptu Warrior Band Invited to Perform at James Madison University Football Game

(Opening Music, PCHS Warrior Band playing Warrior fight song)

What you just heard was a sample of the now very famous Pocahontas County High School Warrior Band’s performance before the Board of Education members at the November 14th board meeting held at Marlinton Middle School.

The story of the band this year at PCHS is remarkable, since there is no Band Director.  That the band, as small as it is, exists at all is only because of the determination of the band members along with the support of PCHS Principal Joe Riley and two faculty members, Jennifer Nail-Cook and Casey Griffith. While not Band Directors, Nail-Cook and Griffith volunteered to be facility sponsors for the band. This is an amazing story of an Impromptu group of 9 student musicians teaching themselves, which has made them rather famous throughout the state. An article about them and their determined efforts appeared in the Washington Post and that has brought this band nationwide attention. Now they, and their faculty advisors have been invited to appear with the James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes Alumni Band at JMU’s final home football game of the year on Saturday, November 18th. This invitation includes tickets to the game, seating with the alumni directly behind the band, a tailgate meal, an opportunity for them to join the JMU Alumni band on the field at halftime, and even to play along with the Marching Royal Dukes Band if they want to.   That game will be televised on ESPN at 2 pm on November 18th. At this meeting, the board members gladly approved for the Warrior band to travel to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for the November 18th football game.

The 9 Warrior Band members include:

  • Drum Major/Director Hailey Fitzgerald
  • Miles Fitzgerald
  • Jadyn Lane
  • Eric Dibble
  • Kaidance Cutlip
  • Miya Johnson
  • Emilynn Hall
  • Reggie Whiting
  • Olivia Hamilton (who was not present at the BOE meeting.)

The band played at several PCHS Warrior Football home games, this year and were joined at the Homecoming game by a number of other students, and adults who played along with them.

The Boe meeting began with presentations of student projects by some students at Marlinton Middle School. These projects included animal and plant cell-models made from recycled materials and student-designed menus for fictitious restaurants, which were designed to be fun lessons in grammar, because the students were required to include on their menus 10 adjectives, 10 nouns, 3 verbs, and some adverbs and prepositional phrases.

The Marlinton Middle School’s Local School Improvement Counsel (LSIC) expressed a need to replace the very old and too small student lockers at the school, which will be a very expensive project. But finding a way to replace them is a priority for the LSIC, since they are too small to hold the students devices and back packs.

Also at the meeting, the board:

  • Approved routine financial reports.
  • Approved a consulting agreement with the Educational Funding Group, Inc. regarding the FCC’s E-Rate Program.
  • Approved Barbara Seldomridge and Amber Teter as Parent and Community Volunteers at Hillsboro Elementary School.
  • Approved the recommended list of personnel actions, which can be found in the Official Agenda here:11-14-23 Official BOE Agenda PDF

Here is also a link here to a sheet which describes the process the schools use to decide on snow day closures or delays. 11-14-23 BOE Snow Days Document_20231115_0001

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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