From marching at Troup to leading Callaway: Trinity Pike’s dreams come true at last

Published 7:30 am Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Trinity Pike can hear the music. The melody in Pike’s head changed its tune recently. The Troup High graduate has finally landed his dream job. Pike is set to take over the Callaway High band program, fulfilling a lifelong dream for Pike.

“I’ve had all kinds of jobs since graduating college. I’ve driven trucks, taught school and worked in warehouses and all kinds of things, but the dream and passion were always there,” Pike said. “I want to kind of be in the background and let these kids stand out and do what they love to do. It’s supposed to be fun, you know, and we’re gonna dance and we’re gonna play music, and we’re gonna have a lot of fun, and we’re gonna go do some things that they’ve never done before.”

This will undoubtedly be a new experience for Pike. He has no experience leading a public high school band and orchestrating entire marching band performances. This does not mean Pike is unequipped for his responsibilities.

Music has been a part of Pike’s life since he was a little boy. Eventually, that little boy grew up and played saxophone for the Troup High band before becoming a drum major in his junior and senior years. But that was not his last stop. Pike marched in the red coat band at the University of Georgia, where he received his degree in music studies, and led the music program at Lafayette Christian School.

“I loved my time at LCS and the school will always hold a special place in my heart, but I’ve always wanted to lead a large concert band and have a marching band and you just can’t do that at a small private school,” Pike said. 

It truly has been a lifetime of waiting for this moment. Since he left Troup High to go and march in college, Pike has always set his eyes on leading a high school band program and to finally get the chance to do so in his hometown is a special prospect for him.

“It was a little overwhelming at first because I’ve worked so hard to get here,” Pike said of when Callaway first made him the offer. “It wasn’t the first one I’ve applied for, but it is the first one that has said yes. 

“My mother passed away several years ago and I know how badly she wanted this for me, so when I first got the call that I had the job she was the first person I thought of.” 

Pike has a lot of big ideas for the program, but his first-year mission statement is simple: “I’m here for the long haul.”

The Callaway band program will have its fourth band director in four years when Pike officially takes over the next school year. Pike knows that some of the band members are feeling spurned and let down and it is up to him to build bridges and regain the kids’ faith in the program.

“The kids have been through a lot and I definitely know what it’s like going through that as I had three different band directors when I was in high school at Troup,” Pike said. “I just want the kids to know that it is not their fault and I plan to stick around. This is what I’ve wanted to do since I was in middle school and I want them to feel my passion for the program.”

Pike has assured the kids and parents that this is no stepping-stone job for him, but assurances can only go so far. It is his actions that will be the true tale of his commitment.

“I started going to LaGrange College to get my certification and my master’s degree which should take me about 13 months,” Pike said. “So starting the new job, starting the band program, working on my master’s in college, and then balancing that with another full-time job until I start pre-planning in July on top of that is a lot, but it’s worth it and it will certainly be worth it in the long run.”

Building bridges with parents and students is not the only heavy lifting he plans on doing. Pike plans to build a strong pipeline from Hogansville and Callaway Elementary schools all the way up to the high school. 

“The way you grow the program is getting people interested in and building relationships when they’re starting in elementary, you know, with that program, so it’s big to keep it going to get kids interested, young. If you keep that relationship growing, they’re gonna stick around.”

Friday nights in the fall are special at Callaway Stadium. Pike knows, he marched in that stadium for four years. Bands are a big reason those Friday nights under the lights are so memorable. 

“Callaway is known for its football team, its fishing team, its baseball team and I want Callaway to be known for its band as well,” Pike said. “We want to stick out and be uniquely Callaway and I don’t want to let any secrets slip just yet, but I think we are going to do that.”

There is still a heap of work that has to be done before the Cavaliers march onto the field in August. It has already started, but the new era of the marching Cavaliers begins in earnest in July when the program holds its band camp. The Callaway football team opens up the season with a scrimmage on the road before two regular season games away from home as well which means Pike will have to wait until Sept. 6 to lead his band into Callaway Stadium. It will be an emotional experience for Pike as life comes full circle for him.