By Mike McClure

For the first time in school history, Laurel High School held a college signing for a member of the school’s band. Last Thursday, Sean Dixon, who can play most instruments and writes music for his school, neighboring schools, and schools outside the state, signed a letter of intent to attend North Carolina Central University in Durham.

“This is history. We’ve never done this before,” said Laurel Athletic Director Kevin Walmsley. “We will continue this in the future.”

Shown during last week’s college signing are David Hastings, Sean Dixon, and John Dixon (Sean’s father). Dixon will attend North Carolina Central University where he will play with the band, major in music and write music for the band director. Photo by Mike McClure

“It’s really exciting that we get to recognize somebody for their musical talents,” Laurel High School Assistant Principal Mikell Reed, filling in for band director Jason Rogers, said.

Reed said Dixon filled a leadership role with the band.

“Sean’s one of those people that comes along once in your career,” said Reed. “As an administrator it’s been a pleasure to have Sean in the building and to know Sean.”

“It (signing) feels good. It shows people that they can get scholarships through music and not just through sports. It shows that they can get better and earn a scholarship,” Dixon said.

Dixon said he chose North Carolina Central because it has a really good music program and the band director is really good at his job. He added that the director has been working to recruit him since last year. 

“He knows what he’s talking about, he’s very knowledgeable,” said Dixon.

It also didn’t hurt that there is a Bojangles on every corner in Durham, including across from the campus.

In addition to playing in the band, Dixon will major in music. He will have the opportunity to study Jazz, do music composition, and be a part of the drum line. Sean will continue writing music, helping to write for the band director. He is one of eight to be selected to the school’s college of music.

The school’s band will participate in its first competition and a bowl game in Miami before taking part in a competition in California. 

Dixon started playing the trumpet in 10th grade and can also play the piano and guitar. He can play any percussion or brass instrument, everything but the a woodwind instrument.

Sean also writes and sells music. He started writing cadences for the drum line, then began writing basic songs for the full band. His music was part of Laurel’s winter concert and one of his pieces will be played at the school’s spring concert.

“It’s been fun, I’ve made a lot of friends,” Dixon said of his time at Laurel. “I learned a lot about music and how it should be performed.”

Sean’s mom, Diana, said Rogers allows the students to learn other instruments. Sean added that Rogers is big on students leading other students.