Campus News

CGTC Student Captains Mercer Marching Band Color Guard, Recruits Fellow Titans to Join

Warner Robins, Ga.- Dallas Upshaw, a second-year, dual-major student always planned on attending Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC), even though a sign-up table in high school and an audition landed her a flag, a rifle and a sabre, in the Mercer University Marching Band (MUMB) Color Guard. 

In between her final year Warner Robins High School and her first practices with the band, Upshaw discovered she could do both, in what could be called, music to her ears.
In fact, her positon as a captain on the color guard, and commitment to both institutions, has led her to become the spokeswoman for CGTC’s Office of Student Affairs and the MUMB’s efforts to recruit the College’s musically and rhythmically talented student body into joining the band.
“She wouldn’t go away,” said, the director of Marching and Athletic Bands at Mercer University, Doug Cowden, recalling Upshaw’s desire to commit to the winter and color guard out of high school, and expressing his confidence that she can find some like-hearted peers to join.
The band has always allowed high school and neighboring institution talent to audition. Cowden said there is no limit to who can join, they simply have to go through the audition process.
“They have to have a base set of knowledge, a good work ethic, and a great attitude. We will teach them the rest,” Cowden said.
Upshaw, who is pursuing her degrees in Business Administration Technology and Logistics Management at CGTC, was selected as captain for her good work ethic, her high level of dedication, and what Cowden called the “cliché of being the first one to arrive and last one to leave,” doing duties that are not necessarily assigned of her.
“This is a fun activity and a stress relief from school for me,” Upshaw said, “It is a good opportunity for me to do something and work hard with others.” 
Upshaw’s stick-to-itiveness, proclivity to answer emails in a timely fashion, and strong desire for healthy extracurricular “balance” struck a chord with CGTC’s vice president of Student Affairs, Craig Jackson.
“Extracurricular activities are just as important as the academic,” Jackson said. “Having Dallas participate in the Mercer band makes her a well-balanced student who is prepared in all areas of life to come.” 
“She is somewhat of a trendsetter and pioneer for this kind of student activity.” said Jackson, who also commented on the work behind the scenes of Cowden and, CGTC’s executive director for Student Affairs, Dr. Bruce Foster, in connecting the two institutions in a non-academic arena. “We are extremely proud of Dallas and we will continue to support her and any student participating in the band.”
Upshaw found it worth noting that her ability to bond with Mercer students – a concern some may have - has not been that difficult, that as long as they stay on band topics, the comradery comes naturally. 
Her advice to anyone considering participating in the band, “It’s memorable; they will get to know people and make a family.” 
Her band family is also highly awarded and takes annual road trips to some of college football’s historic stadiums. In 2016, the MUMB Color Guard placed 2nd in the National Championships for Color Guard, and in 2017 the band will roll into Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium.
CGTC students interested in participating in the MUMB Band should contact Dr. Bruce Foster at or 478-218-3295.
For more information on the Office of Student affairs at CGTC, contact Mr. Craig Jackson at or 478-757-3508.
CGTC’s executive director for Student Affairs, Dr. Bruce Foster, student, Dallas Upshaw, and vice president of Student Affairs, Craig Jackson, share a moment of congratulations. Upshaw, a CGTC dual-major student, captains the Mercer University Marching Band Color Guard and is “instrumental” in new recruitment of CGTC students to join the band. 

Submitted by JoBen Rivera-Thompson
April 21, 2017


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