Beaufort Middle School band room named in honor of late band director

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -Family, friends, and students of a beloved band director in the east, who passed away in 2022, came together Thursday night to honor his legacy as the band room he taught in for three decades was named after him.

Many in the Carteret County community made their way inside the Beaufort Middle School gymnasium, to honor the life and legacy of Joe McCreary.

“I mean it’s just amazing to even think about the fact that I knew this man,” said McCreary’s former student, Zander Mayo. “He was such an amazing person. His legacy is going to last on.”

“It is well deserved for Mr. Joe to have this honor and have the room named after him,” said McCreary’s former friend and colleague, Ashley Wright. “He did so much for the community, reaching out beyond the school grounds.”

McCreary spent 30 years of his life as the band director at Beaufort Middle School, then retired in 2020 but he sadly passed away from cancer two years later in 2022.

McCreary’s wife Beth says she wishes her husband was alive to see the very band room he taught many students in being named in his honor.

“This has been in the works for a couple of years,” McCreary said. “Joe was actually supposed to be here for the room naming, but he would’ve thought it was the most ridiculous thing for him to be honored.”

Former and current students of McCreary, along with his colleagues shared memories while several jazz bands played throughout the ceremony.

McCreary’s wife says her husband’s name is forever cemented at Beaufort Middle School for all to see, especially his first grandchild whom he never got to meet.

“This is definitely going to be a place that we visit because we’ve got lots of stories to tell her about her grandpa,” McCreary said. “This is the perfect way to show her exactly how much he meant to the community.”

The ceremony also served as a fundraising event for the Joe McCreary Scholarship Endowment Fund.