Band Director Mrs. Polenick Retires

Her interesting life has included not only teaching music, but also drag racing and competitive weight lifting.


Mrs. Polenick demonstrates a color guard routine.

After 15 years leading Socastee’s marching and performance bands, Ms. Cheryl Polenick retired last months. As those who have played for her know, she was not only a dedicated band director but also had quite an interesting career and life leading up to her time at Socastee.

Mrs. Polenick said she is proud of the program she built. Under her leadership, the band frequently hit the Top 7 in  state competitions, even though it is relatively smaller than other schools.

“We built one of the best programs in the state, and the best in Horry County Schools — from nothing!” Ms. Polenick said.

She is also proud that a lot of her students have gone on to make music a career.

“Some are playing in major symphonies and teaching at major universities,” she said. “Some are performing in the “real” world in Nashville, Austin, and the Midwest, as well as those who play locally.”

Before coming to Socastee, Mrs. Polenick had some other interesting jobs. 

She studied classical trumpet and out of college took a job playing in an orchestra with the Royal National Opera that toured villages around Switzerland. 

“Every little town had its own opera house,” she said, “and boy did they all love opera.” 

She also was a National Hot Rod Association drag racer and did the Midwest circuit. 

“I had a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am with dual carburetors and a nitrous fogger,” she said.

She was into competitive weightlifting at one time, too.

“I was competitive in squat thrusting,” she said, “which probably accounts for my screwed up spine, neck, hips and knees.”

She said she is not sure yet what she is going to do in retirement, “but my students are urging me to write memoirs.”