‘Baptism by fire’

New FHS band director led Marching Ads in Independence Parade

Kenneth Carrico enjoyed a “baptism by fire” earlier this week when, as new director of bands for Farragut High School, he led the school’s Marching Admirals in the Town of Farragut’s Independence Day Parade Wednesday, July 4.

Carrico comes to Knox County Schools from Sullivan County, where he served as director of bands at Sullivan South High School in Kingsport for the last seven years.

“I love Knoxville and I am excited to be here,” he said by phone last week, as he was getting settled in the community while also finishing out his contract with Sullivan County Schools.

Long-time FHS band director Keith Clupper submitted his resignation earlier this year to take a position in Georgia, and it was he who approached Carrico about the opening and asked him to apply, Carrico said.

“I was excited when the position opened up, and the previous director reached out to me, and I appreciated him letting me know.”

At Sullivan South, he was the sole director of the band program, in which he oversaw the marching, concert, percussion and jazz bands, along with teaching music theory.

Carrico also has taught in North Carolina, Virginia and Texas and has 16 years as a percussion instructor, director and clinician, according to his professional biography.

The new director said he is “really glad” he will have an assistant band director, Elizabeth Gott, at FHS to help with the workload. Gott also is new to Knox County Schools.

While Carrico was raised in Sullivan County, graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School and received a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University, he received his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, earlier this year.

“I am a huge UT fan,” he said. “I have enough orange in my closet to prove that — and I’m really excited to now have a real reason for all that. And, I love the Knoxville area, I always have.”

He has another reason to be drawn to Farragut: his 4-year-old daughter, Kelsi Phiona, currently lives with her mother in Loudon County, so he has purchased a house in Lenoir City, which is a central location between his daughter and his new job.