Mr. Eastridge received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina, and earned his graduate degree from Florida State University. In addition to his position at Carroll, he also serves as a faculty member at NoVa College for clarinet. Bringing his talents to Harewood Road, he quickly became the driving force behind the enhanced quality of sound coming from our hard-working student musicians.
Mr. Eastridge credits all improvements to the students.
“I try to instill the idea that it is THEIR band. I’m there to help them.” He goes on to say, “They’re successful because they are good kids, and they want to be successful.” Although he comes from a different musical background, he tries to find music that they can play at a high level, and most importantly...that they enjoy.
The band has participated in football games, the Fall Arts Festival, and most recently the Special Carroll Christmas Christmas Carol Special. It was after the first show on Friday, December 9 that Mr. Eastridge had his ‘proud father’ moment.
“When the band stood up, I could hear parents cheering… That is not what I grew up with. Where I grew up, that never happened. There’s more feeling to express your joy,” and at that moment Mr. Eastridge knew, “this is gonna work.”
Mr. Eastridge continued the new plan, implemented by the previous director, to separate students based on musical ability. The Wind Ensemble is composed of students who have demonstrated a higher level of musicality. Mr. Eastridge treats them as professional musicians, and requires dedicated practice time outside of class. The Carroll Concert Band allows students to have more individual development, providing a fast track to achieving a higher level of musicianship.
The band has plans to participate in ‘Music in the Parks’, a band competition hosted at various theme parks in the area, but Mr. Eastridge hopes to launch the program further into excellence by competing in DC area competitions.
When asked about his primary goal as the band director, his response was simple: to “create independent lifelong musicians.”
He plans to enhance the curriculum by incorporating original pieces composed by the students, a rarity in high school music programs. Additionally, his goals are to create an atmosphere that promotes more improvisation and playing by ear. He envisions concerts where each piece is completely composed by students. As far as bringing in school spirit, he wants to create a more active pep band to support our Carroll Lions football team, and have a stronger presence at athletic events.