PCHS band director wins Award of Excellence
Published 11:11 am Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Cindy L. Gilbert, the director of bands at Polk County High School, won the N.C. Bandmaster Association Award
of Excellence for 2011 for the western district.
Gilbert is in her 15th year at Polk County Schools and her eighth year as the high school band director. She is a graduate of Boiling Springs High School in Spartanburg, S.C. and a 1987 graduate of Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C.
While attending Limestone College (1983-1987) as a music education major, Gilbert performed with the Limestone College Wind Ensemble, percussion ensemble, jazz band, concert choir, madrigal singers and vocal ensemble. She traveled on weekends and summers to Florida to rehearse and perform with the Suncoast Sound Drum & Bugle Corps for two years. She also performed as a percussionist with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in the same two years.
Continuing with her music education at Valdosta State University, Gilbert performed with the Valdosta Wind Ensemble, percussion ensemble and the Valdosta Concert Choir. She was assistant director for the Valdosta State Wind Ensemble, percussion ensemble, and the marching band until her graduation in 1989 with a master’s of music education.
Gilbert started her teaching career in South Georgia, teaching band grades 6-12 for two years. She moved to South Carolina in 1991, where she taught general music for four years. In 1996, she started teaching middle school band in Polk County Middle Schools and assisted the high school band director, Gene Vanderford. After teaching middle school band and academically gifted for seven years, she accepted the job as director of bands at Polk County High School in 2004.
The Polk County High School marching and concert bands have received consecutive superior ratings, and the Polk County High School Percussion Ensemble was invited to perform at the N.C. Music Educators Conference in 2009.
The Polk County Cadets marching band has won grand championships in every year that Gilbert has been a director. The group has traveled widely and performed in front of the Capitol Rotunda.
In 2008, Gilbert, band members and the Polk County community raised more than $300,000 for the band to journey to China as part of the festival leading up to the Beijing Olympics.
Gilbert has one daughter, Amber, and a grandson, John Thomas.
– source: N.C. Music Educator, winter 2012