Gardner-Webb Hosts Musicians Preparing for Summer Tour

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Carolina Crown Organization Continues Meaningful Relationship with University

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Anyone living near or traveling past Gardner-Webb University recently has probably heard the sounds of percussionists rehearsing.  That’s because GWU and its School of Performing and Visual Arts is again hosting Carolina Crown, which includes a 150-member drum and bugle corps conducting their annual spring training through mid-June.

Carolina Crown, based in Fort Mill, S.C., is a non-profit youth performing arts organization offering young people musical and visual performing opportunities throughout the Carolinas and Southeast.  Carolina Crown programs includes Carolina Crown Drum Corps, a world-class national touring group consisting of participants 17-22 years of age, Middle and High School Honor Bands, and PIE (Partners in Education Program) where logistical services and fundraisers are offered to bands in the southeast.  Carolina Crown has been working with Gardner-Webb for the last six years as its national touring group has used the campus for practice and rehearsals prior to national tours.

“Their season culminated last year in a second place finish (in a world class competition),” said Mark Cole, GWU director of athletic bands and coordinator of Music Education.  “It was an amazing season for the corps as they probably fielded the most demanding drum corps show in many decades.  Watching them work is as good as it gets.  They are an amazingly talented group of staff and students.”

Carolina Crown spends every day on campus working on their competitive marching show, integrating all of the movement, music, and equipment work into their production.  The group’s preparation for weeks of competition this summer, which will take them to the United States west coast.

In the past, Carolina Crown has also used GWU’s facilities, in the fall, as the co-sponsor of “Band Beat,” a high school marching band competition, which typically included almost 30 outstanding high school bands in the region.  Thousands of students have visited GWU through participation in these events.

“Our music department has benefited directly from high school students who have come to campus through a Carolina Crown event.  Many have chosen to attend Gardner-Webb upon graduation from high school.  Talk about great visibility,” said Cole.

More information about Carolina Crown is available online at or through GWU Fine Arts at 704-406-4448.