PCHS Band History

The PCHS Band Program was founded on the ideals of Pride, Honor, and Tradition.  Through our three former directors and our current director, this has continued to be our goal!  The Band strives for excellence in all that we do.  Members of the PCHS Band understand that professionalism is in all that we do.  

The PCHS Band Program was founded by our first director, Ms. Lori Evans.  Prior to becoming the founding director at PCHS, Ms. Evans was the director of bands at Elizabeth City Middle School and was the founding director of River Road Middle School.  

Ms. Evans, along with her late husband Robert, wanted to make the new PCHS Band program a force to be known throughout Eastern North Carolina.  They started with becoming a competition band, who's ideals came from Carolina Crown and other DCI Ensembles.  

The excellence of the program did not stop with just the Panther Pride Marching Band, but continued with the PCHS Symphonic Band.  The PCHS Symphonic Band is one of our multiple award winning ensembles.  The Symphonic Band has won awards in North Carolina, including a "Superior" rating at MPA (2014), as well as a 1st Place finish in New York City at the Heritage Festival (2005).  

Having excellence in all that we do did not end with the departure of Ms. Evans.  In the Fall of 2007, Mr. Robert L. Spitler became the second director of bands in program history.  Bands under Mr. Spitler continued in musical excellence.  The Panther Pride Marching Band continued right where Ms. Evans left off by having successful season on the Marching Band Field.  The Band placed in numerous competitions across Eastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia.  

The PCHS Symphonic Band also had success at MPA recording "Excellent" ratings.  The band prides itself in keeping the tradition of successful years both in Marching Band and in Symphonic Band.  

Mr. Spitler asked to share the following: "Tell all my kids from 2007-2012 that I miss them and wish them all the best in the world." 

PCHS  Directors of Band 

Past and Present

The Fall of 2012 brought PCHS a new director in Mr. John W. Russell.  Mr. Russell continued where Mr. Spitler and Ms. Evans left off- pushing the program in the right direction toward continued musical excellence.  Mr. Russell became the first director in program history to be a native of Elizabeth City.  

Bands under Mr. Russell earned the program's first "Superior" rating at MPA (2014), high ratings at other MPA events, and high ratings at Marching Band Competitions across Eastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia. 

Mr. Russell also brought the Panther Jazz Collective into a more prominent role.  Additionally, the return of a Marching Band Competition came back to PCHS under the name of the "Panther Band Classic."  

In the late summer of 2019, PCHS welcomed its fourth director of bands to the program.  Mr. Nicholas "Nick" Stanley became the second Elizabeth City native and the first PCHS Band/School Alum to become the director of bands.  

While at PCHS, Mr. Stanley has kept the goals the same- continue in having excellence in all that we do.  Under Mr. Stanley, the PCHS Band Program has received many awards in Marching Band from Eastern/Central North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia.  Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the band was not able to attend Symphonic Band events.  

Mr. Stanley looks forward to many years of excellence in music education at PCHS and is excited to be back at his alma mater. 

Ms. Lori Evans 


Mr. Robert L. Spitler


Mr. John W. Russell


Mr. Nicholas G. Stanley


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