That is dedication, discipline, and commitment. These are the lessons, along with true talent exemplified by the students who are trained by Mr. McCloud. The band director at Burke High School for 38 years, Linard McCloud has touched the lives of thousands of his students. His legacy is seen in the many alumni who return yearly, the day after Christmas, to spend time with him and to fellowship with their colleagues. Linard McCloud’s influence has also been featured on the national cinema stage through Burke Band alumnus Damon Bass. Bass plays a supporting role as a percussionist in the 2002 movie “Drumline,” which depicts the life of historically black college and university marching band students.
At the dedication ceremony held on Monday, December 26, 2016, many of these students, colleagues, and community representatives shared their “McCloud Story” of how he is always there to lift your spirit, teach you lessons for life, inspire excellence and be a surrogate parent, when you need one.
The trophies that line the balcony of the Band room speak volumes for the achievements and recognitions receive by the bands under the direction of Mr. McCloud. A few of these awards included:
• 30 superior or excellent ratings in Concert Festivals
• Being recognized and recommended in the 2014 Charleston Magazine as one of the top 5 things to do when visiting Charleston
• Sponsored 7 Scholarship Audition camps
• Conducted 7 spring concerts in the New Orleans school system and 2 concerts in Dallas, Texas
• Having Band members earn over 5 million dollars in scholarships with the 2016 Band seniors earning over $350,000 dollars in scholarship offers.
• Participating in 65 HBCU homecoming parades.
• Raising over $100,000 through the BHS Band Booster Club and donating it to general scholarship funds of 10 HBCU band programs since 1990.
• Featured in a State documentary on percussion section SCETV.
• Promoting leadership qualities in band members for offices such Student Counsel Presidents, Miss Burke contestants and winners, etc.
• Participating in 22 FAMU summer band camps and 7 Winthrop University Invitational Concerts
• Being represented in 18 years of South Carolina All-State band
• Biennial student exchange program with a counterpart in Ontario, Canada, and
• 90+ percent of his band students attended college immediately after completing high school; many have pursued graduate and terminal degrees upon graduating from undergraduate programs.
After 20 years, McCloud is continuing to meet and exceed those expectations. During Monday’s Ceremony, the three students who started the process of having the Fine Arts Building named for Mr. McCloud spoke eloquently about what Mr. McCloud means to them and fellow students.
Mr. Alan Smith, Assistant Principal of BHS served as Master of Ceremony, along with his son, Dondre’ Smith, both former band members. Tributes were offered by the following people representing their respective organizations: Mr. Michael Miller, CCSD Board member; Mr. Fran Clasby, District 20 Board member. Mrs. Anna Dassing, Acting Principal of BHS; Mrs. Sara Earle, Associate Principal at BHS; Mr. Eric Jackson, BHS Improvement Council and PTSA; Ms. Maxine Frasier Riley and Mr. Leroy Connors, BHS Foundation and Friends of Burke; Mr. Vernon Curnell, BHS Band Booster Club; Mr. Jeffery Fielding and Ms. Madyson Harris, former band students; and Mrs. Rosie McCloud Ashley for the McCloud Family.
As Dr. Barbara D. Dilligard, Director of Transition for the Burke Feeder System, read the following dedication ceremony tribute, the audience responded to the reading with the phrase: “ Linard McCloud…Our High Steppin’ Bulldog”
• For giving so much to the students of Burke High School for the past 38 years in a time when so many people and things are transient and unstable
• For nurturing and advising students in their discipline of the mind and spirit which teach lessons for life, not just music;
• For the many accomplishments that he has prepared and guided students and colleagues toward success and future growth;
• For his undying loyalty and commitment to excellence by giving of his time to work with parents of the students he serves;
• For ensuring that students have what they need to be successful even if it meant personal sacrifice and extra work to solicit help from others;
• For his creativity and talent that allows him to teach while delegating to students for their leadership development and confidence building
• For his wife and children who share this passion he has for developing boys and girls into contributing young men and women for leadership in the future
• As a tribute to you, we will all aspire to be …High Steppin Bulldogs
• We salute you… Linard McCloud…our High Steppin Bulldog
The ceremony was a collaborative sponsorship of the Charleston County School District, BHS School Administration, BHS Foundation, Inc., and the BHS Band Booster Club.