Cox Mill band marches in 'Homeland' commercial

If you turn on your television and see what looks like the Cox Mill High School Marching Band, don't worry: You are not "seeing things."

Various members of the Spirit of Cox Mill High School Marching Band were cast recently in a commercial for a new television series called "Homeland." The series will air on Showtime beginning this fall.

Joseph Earp, director of bands at Cox Mill High, explained how they were discovered for the part.

"A simple email ... was sent to one of our assistant principals, Julia Erdie, from the casting company that was involved with the commercial. The lady in charge of casting was in attendance at the Cox Mill Elementary fifth-grade graduation, which the Cox Mill High School band performed for," Earp said. "She was impressed with our band and with our look."

Originally from Lenoir, Earp had a passion for music since childhood.

"I attended West Caldwell High School and participated in band all four years. Lenoir is known for the famous Lenoir High School Band and Captain Harper," he said. "A lot of instruction that was provided to me while in Lenoir was from those who had worked with the Lenoir High School Band before the schools' closing back in the mid-'70s.

"The skills I learned in high school band reached much further than just music. I learned about life."

Fortunately for us, Earp made the move to Cabarrus County to share his art and craft to the students at Cox Mill High.

"I moved here for my family and for Cabarrus County Schools. This school district is amazing. The teachers and administration are great," Earp said. "The band directors at the various middle and high schools in the county work well with each other as a team.

"It has been ... the best three years of my teaching career."

Earp also explained why he so deeply loves what he does for a living:

"I want to take what I was given as a student and pass it along. Music is a great gift that comes with so many rewards. I teach more than just reading and playing. My students are learning to be passionate, have power, develop partnerships, create networks, create teams, build life skills, and to be inspired. Every day I wake up and I am very excited about the possibilities that accompany my job."

The commercial is running on Showtime and also can be seen on You Tube at Check it out: It's a very intriguing commercial, filmed nearby in downtown Gastonia.

Congratulations to the Spirit of Cox Mill High School Marching Band for a job well done!