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Colonel's Pride

Seventy years of Alumni who support and promote lasting connections between James Wood HS Band Alumni and the James Wood Band by providing opportunities to participate in musical, social, and philanthropic activities.

The "Colonel’s Pride" is the James Wood High School band – a group of JWHS students that work together during school and non-school hours to present an award-winning musical program.

Colonial times to Present day

Colonel James Wood, an immigrant from Winchester, England, was the first court clerk and had been a surveyor for Orange County, Virginia. He contracted for his own 'Glen Burnie' homestead around 1737, and it may have been used for early government business. Wood laid out 26 half-acre lots in 1744. The County Court held its first session on November 11, 1743, where James Wood served until 1760. Lord Fairfax, understanding that possession is 9/10ths of the law, built a home here (in present-day Clarke County) in 1748.


In February 1752, the Virginia House of Burgesses granted the fourth city charter in Virginia to 'Winchester' as Frederick Town was renamed after Colonel Wood's birthplace in England. In 1754, Abraham Hollingsworth built the local residence called Abram's Delight, which served as the first local Quaker meeting house. George Washington spent a good portion of his young life in Winchester helping survey the Fairfax land grant for Thomas Fairfax, Sixth Lord Fairfax, as well as performing surveying work for Colonel Wood. In 1758 Wood added 158 lots to the west side of town. In 1759 Thomas Lord Fairfax contributed 173 more lots to the south and east.

Nearly 200 years later, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley lies the site of a million-dollar consolidated James Wood High School. The School opened in 1951 with 42 teachers containing 32 classrooms, including shops, laboratories, special rooms, offices, a library, cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium. 

In the fall of 1979, construction began on the long awaited 'Apple Pie High.'  The old school would be named James Wood 'Amherst', while the new one would become James Wood 'Ridge'. Is it the large windows with a full view that distinguishes Amherst from Ridge? Or is tit the clocks which are set five minutes behind normal life time? Is it the unavoidable potholes at Ridge, or the long line of people pushing their way off the parking lot? Whatever the comparison, most students agree that there is something interesting about both campuses.

Freshmen are 'people who make sure that their watches are set to the second with the school clocks'. Others say a sophomore is 'the person who thinks himself cool for his upperslassmanship at Amherst.' A junior is 'the kid who has a locker next to yours and who has finally learned his way around.' And what is a senior? 'People who ruled the school, or at least think they do!' These characterizations united the two campuses.

Freshmen and sophomores are schooled at the 'Amherst' site, while juniors and seniors are schooled at the 'Ridge' site. Some are able to be transferred between the two for several classes, one of which, was the James Wood Band.

60th Anniversary

After a mini reunion 2009, a few alumni thought it would be a great idea to gear up for the 60th Anniversary of the bands inception. 

With hard work and dedication from Allan Rodgers and a few others, that dream of everyone being able to perform again came to fruition. 

Every decade was represented, even from the first band in 1952.

Ensuring a successful future

Coming in the next few months, hopefully there will be more info on items that will help ensure the success of the JWHSBAO's future. 

Items like:

  • JWHSBAO Constitution

  • Bylaws

  • 5-Year, 10-Year, 15-Year plans, etc.

  • Handbooks for held positions

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