BEAUFORT, CARTERET COUNTY - Membership in the East Carteret High School Band has increased 400 percent in the last ten years. It's a growing band program that is out growing some of it's equipment needed for competitions.
"We had to use a U-Haul truck to get to one of our band competitions because our truck just wasn't going to make it. I think it's very professional if a band can carry all of its stuff to and from places that they're going to. Band is not fun when you can't show what you're working on," said Rachael Cockrell, a senior band student.
Paul Pittman of Stevenson Chevrolet was in the East Carteret Band 25 years ago. He presented the program a check for $5,000 to go toward a new trailer.
"It's the area I came from. I grew up here. I graduated here. I played the saxophone here. So I figured this would be a great way to give back to the people that gave to us," said Pittman.
East Carteret High School's band program already has this 24-foot trailer. The second one will be 28 feet. Two trailers to one band really helps out.
"We have a jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, winter guard, color guard, marching band and concert band. We use it for all facets of the program, all year round. Many programs go to different places at the same time," said Ashley Wright, ECHS band director.
The East Carteret Band has a history of traveling to destinations like Disney World and the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington D.C. The money will help the band make a good first impression when competing.
"At a band competition you don't see the band when you first get there you see the trailer. You see the band's image," said Trevor Davis, ECHS Sophomore.
It's a step in the right direction for an increasing band student population.