Program Information

Pearl River Community College offers several band and dance team programs to students who wish to learn more about their craft. These include: the Spirit of the River Instrumental Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Cats Band, Pep Band, String of Pearls Dance Team, and Color Guard. 

We invite you to come for a visit and experience some of the creative opportunities these programs have for YOU! 

PRCC Concert Band

Band and Dance Team Offerings at PRCC

A variety of arts events and performances are presented by the college’s award-winning performing ensembles, visual art students and theater program.  The department also hosts guest concerts and recitals on campus throughout the year.  These events are held either in Malone Chapel or in the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts and are open to the public. Please consult the schedule of events for a current list of upcoming performances and ticket information. Further information about The Brownstone Center on their website . 

The Spirit of the River is the largest and most visible of the instrumental ensembles at PRCC. The band has a history and tradition at PRCC going back almost 100 years. The Spirit of the River is a vital part of the campus performing at football games, campus events, parades, and in exhibition at area marching competitions.  

Service Scholarship information:

  • For information, click here



  • Drum Major Auditions: April each year
  • More information will be provided during the Spring Semester.

Director Information:  

  • Mr. Jerry Pickering, Assistant Band Director & Director of The Spirit of the River –
  • Dr. Andrew Gilstrap, Assistant Band Director & Director of Percussion –

The String of Pearls Dance Team was established over 50 years ago. This award-winning group has performed at many exciting venues and received numerous accolades throughout the years.

The Fall team members perform at football games and area parades as an integral part of the “Spirit of the River” Marching Band. The Spring team members perform at basketball games. The Spring team is also a traveling competitive team that has earned both state and national champion titles for many years.  

Service Award info: 

  • Fall Semester – Full Tuition 
  • Spring Semester – $1200.00 


  • Fall Team – April each year
  • Spring Team – November each year

Contact Information:


  • May 4, 2024
  • Auditions for PRCC Color Guard are held in March or April each year. Members of these groups also receive a full-tuition service award during the fall semester upon earning a spot on the team.  
    Audition contacts: String of Pearls, Mike Bass, and Color Guard & Drum Major, Lauren Bond –


Contact Information:  

  • Jerry Pickering, Assistant Band Director and Director of The Spirit of the
  • Andrew Gilstrap, Assistant Band Director and Director of Percussion –

The PRCC Wind Ensemble and Concert Band performs and rehearses during the Spring semester of each academic year. Members are auditioned at the beginning of the Fall semester for placement in their respective band and section. The Wind Ensemble gives a concert at the Pearl River Regional Band Clinic and both the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will give an end-of-semester concert.  Service Awards for the Spring semester are awarded to all members of the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band. 

Service Award info: 

  • Wind Ensemble – $1350.00 (spring semester only) 
  • Concert Band – $1350.00 (spring semester only)


  • Auditions normally occur at band camp before the start of the fall semester of the academic year. 
  • Auditions consist of scales and sightreading. 

Contact Information: 

The “Jazz Cats” consists of 5 saxes, 4 trombones, 4 trumpets, and a rhythm section (piano, bass, guitar, percussion, and drums). Members are selected through an audition held before the Fall semester of each year. The “Jazz Cats” tours the district high schools during the Spring semester and performs at various school and civic functions. Repertoire consists of rock, jazz, Latin, and swing styles. A service award is available to each member during the Spring semester. 

Service Award information:

  • Half tuition (fall and spring semesters) 
  • Performances include Halloween concert, Winter Wonderland Concert, PRCC Regional Band Clinic, Spring Concert, and tour area high schools. 


  • Auditions occur during band camp before school starts for the fall semester. 
  • Auditions consist of scales and a prepared piece sent out approximately 2 weeks before auditions.  

Contact Information:

Honors Brass Quintet


PRCC Honors Brass Quintet consists of 2 trumpets, horn, trombone, and tuba. 

Service Award info: 

  • Service Award is a half-tuition scholarship (Fall and Spring semesters) 
  • The ensemble will perform at functions on and off-campus. In addition, it will be a recruiting ensemble that will travel to local high schools to represent PRCC in recruiting efforts.



  • Auditions are due by the end of May (or until filled) 
  • Auditions will consist of excerpts from the brass quintet literature that will be recorded and emailed to Mr. Bass. 


Contact Information:  
Michael Bass –  

Pep Band

The PRCC Pep Band is under the direction of Dr. Andy Gilstrap. Pep Band meets during the spring semester and performs at home basketball games. Service awards are awarded to all members of the PRCC Pep Band.  

Scholarship info:

  • $350 Service Award 
  • Spring Semester 


  • Contact Dr. Andrew Gilstrap for more information.  


Contact Information:


Each student that participates in the instrumental, vocal, and drama programs at Pearl River is eligible for a service scholarship*. Scholarships are awarded for a maximum of six semesters and do not have to be taken during consecutive semesters. Service scholarships within the Department of Fine Arts and Communications can be “stacked” with academic, other service scholarships, and State and Federal financial aid.  

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February 2 - 3, 2024


February 2 - 3, 2024

Each community college president is asked to bring two (2) wrapped door prizes, minimum value of $50 each. We will have a station set up at the conference for you to drop off the door prizes.

Each community college is asked to provide name tags for their Board members, administration, and staff attending the conference.