The Cedartown High School Bulldog Marching Band is preparing for the start of their season.

Band Director Tom McGarity is entering his 19th year at the helm of the Cedartown band program, and his 44th year overall teaching high school band.

McGarity is still thankful for the opportunity to lead the Bulldog Band.

“My time here has been wonderful. We have had some great supporters including parents and principals, and, of course, we have had so many great band members and still do,” he said.

“In the past we have had up to 120 members, we are going to have about 95 band members this year. Sometimes you have to rebuild, and this is one of those times,” McGarity added.

Despite lower numbers this year, the future is still bright for the marching band program.

“The CHS band has a ton of potential, but the future is very bright for the Cedartown Middle School program,” McGarity said. “Both bands will be very talented this season.”

Speaking of the future, a new band room and Fine Arts Building is on its way.

As McGarity explained “After the Westside Elementary School fire about a decade ago, the plans to create a Fine Arts wing was put on the backburner a bit, so to speak.”

“Our superintendent and school board have been very good. They are creating a new 500 seat auditorium and band room located downstairs near the stadium. The workers are making great progress and we are all very excited for this!” McGarity said.

This year’s band show will cover a universal icon: Elton John.

“My assistant Jeff Gossett really wanted to do an Elton John show. Around April, we were figuring out what show to do and I said, ‘Jeff, it is your show to pick.’ We will cover all the classics- Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Crocodile Rock, and Philadelphia Freedom. A drum feature will be included as well,” McGarity said.

“Band camp just finished up, and it went very well. We have taken camp up a notch, and we are focusing on running drills to get our members physically fit. Our assistant Bill Wear took that on and has done a phenomenal job helping out,” McGarity added.

The CHS band staff includes McGarity, Gossett, Wear, Karen Barfield, and Jana Eaden, among others.