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Strom Thurmond Band Director Headed to the Beach

Van-ClarkVan Clark will take over North Myrtle Beach High School’s band program in mid June following a nineteen-year stint at Strom Thurmond High in Edgefield County. “Edgefield County is my home, always has been and always will be,” stated the affable director of the Rebel Regiment. “I was given the opportunity to fulfill one of my goals when hired for this job and people have been nothing but supportive the entire time I have been here. I appreciated that,” he continued.

Van is a graduate of Strom Thurmond High School where he was a mainstay of the legendary Jim Mohorn’s program. When asked what influence Mr. Mohorn had on his decision to become a director he settled in on “Huge”. “Jim got us where we needed to go, he exposed us to the world,” reminisced Van as he repeated “Huge” several more times.

Upon graduation from Strom Thurmond High School Mr. Clark pursued his career goals at The University of South Carolina earning a Bachelors Degree in Music Education. According to Van being named Principle Trombone for the USC Band was one of two major highlights of his college days, the other being assigned to choreograph The Carolina Coquettes.

Van’s first year after college was spent at Central Cabarrus High School in Concord, North Carolina with the Marching Vikings followed by a tour at R.B. Stall in Charleston. The year prior to starting his nineteen-year stint at STH he was completing a three-year association with Midland Valley High School. Mr. Clarence Dickert and Mr. Robert Heflin were able to lure Mr. Clark away from his 150-member award-winning band in the valley and he has been at Thurmond since.

Declaring the highlight of his days at Strom Thurmond came easy to the director. The State Championship in 2012 certainly stood out in his mind. It is also important to note that he kept returning to comments in regard to as really good students that passed through the program.

So, Mr. Clark will meet his new students at North Myrtle Beach next week and take up the challenge once again of building a highly rated program. First task, get more students involved. Long time associate Mr. Justin Craig is filling the Directors position at Thurmond. Edgefield County is most fortunate to have Mr. Craig taking over the direction of the Rebel Regiment.

“Good luck Van the Grand Strand Band Man, you will be missed.”