Few people can say they placed among the top 10 in a world championship, but Grovetown resident Nick Jacobson can add that distinction to his list of accomplishments.
Nick, the 16-year-old son of Richard and Stephanie Jacobson, is a junior at Harlem High School, where he plays the baritone horn in the school's concert and marching bands. This summer, Nick spent the better part of two months practicing and then competing in drum and bugle corps contests with Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps, based in Fort Mill, N.C.
In the final rounds of the Drum Corps International World Championships in Madison, Wis., Carolina Crown, boasting an 80-member-strong brass section, placed eighth.
"My dad was once a marcher and he got me interested in it," said Nick, who also serves as treasurer of the school's science club and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and Beta Club.
"I really can't say enough about what Nick has accomplished since I have had the privilege of being his band director," said Stacey Wade, the director of bands and choral activities at Harlem High. "Being selected for a Division I drum and bugle corps is equivalent to being selected to play for a Division I college football team, since the vast majority of the members are college age. Nick did this as a rising junior in high school!"
When other students are enjoying down time before the start of class or club meeting times, Nick can often be found practicing his music, Wade said.
"I think that pretty well sums up his level of commitment and dedication," he said, adding that Nick accumulated the most points toward the band letter last year and was presented the award for "Most Outstanding Sophomore" band member. He also was selected to represent Columbia County at the final auditions for the Georgia Governor's Honors Program, and was selected to the Georgia Music Educators Association 10th District Honor Band.
As a member of Carolina Crown, Nick had to first audition and then commit to the strenuous schedule of weekend camps to prepare for competition.
"The auditions for the 72-member brass section is very competitive," said Matthew Harloff, the assistant director of bands at Avon High School in Avon, Ind., and caption supervisor for Carolina Crown's brass section. "There were over 175 students that came to audition for last year's Carolina Crown brass section. They come from all over the world; we had members from Japan this year. During the summer, the kids tour the country practicing and competing with the best drum and bugle corps in the world. The brass students receive an educational experience like no other."
In all, Carolina Crown performed at 30 venues ranging from San Antonio to Elizabethtown, Va., competing against other drum and bugle corps at each stop.
"For me, I think it was a more fun and recreational thing to do," said Nick, who has no plans to pursue a career in music.
"Nick is a highly talented and motivated individual," Wade said. "He is totally devoted to band, drum corps, and music in general."
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