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Ten SMS musicians make All-Region Band

According to Brandon Fisher, Scott Middle School Director of Bands, more SMS Band musicians earned coveted spots in the prestigious All-Region Band in 2017 than in the past ten years combined.

Three talented trumpeters, Gavin Dunaway, Axton Grams, and Luke Sparlin made the 2017 Middle School All-Region Band, alongside Flutist Grace Cameron, Alto Saxophonist John Dornstadter, Tenor Trombonist Jay Matherly, and Percussionist Hunter Henson. Rounding out the group of ten were David Ariza on French Horn, Sean Hively on Euphonium, and Logan O’Kray on Tuba. The qualifiers for the All-Region Band will participate in a Clinic and perform a Concert on Saturday, December 9th at Rockwall Heath High School.

“This high level of success for our 7th and 8th graders is unprecedented. Mr. Chambers, Assistant Band Director, and I are absolutely elated,” said Fisher. “We are extremely proud of the hundreds of hours of hard work and effort these talented young musicians exhibited in preparation for their auditions. They competed against more than 1,000 other students from Allen, Lovejoy, McKinney, Rockwall, Sherman and Wylie to earn All-Region honors. It’s a tough and rigorous challenge, but they met and exceeded that challenge on all fronts at the highest levels possible.”

Fisher says enrollment in the SMS Band has been on the rise in recent years, growing from around 100 to well over 200 student musicians in the last two years. “We are very fortunate and proud to have added a fourth Concert Band, Jazz Band, and Applied Music Classes to our Middle School Band curriculum,” said Fisher, “The level of music that our students are able to perform has also risen as instructional quality, interest, and student comprehension have increased. Our SMS bands currently conduct over 30 performances for our schools and community each year, entertaining many diverse audiences with a wide variety of beautifully performed music. Our holiday concerts are right around the corner.”

Fisher credits the Denison Education Foundation, the Thelma Braun and Bocklett Family Foundation, and district support as the primary reasons behind growth and success. “DEF has played a vital role in providing our students with the tools necessary for modern and innovative instructional methods through more than five grants to date…totaling over $17,000 within the last two years alone. Thanks to the Braun Foundation, we have an exceptional Thelma Braun Music Enrichment Program that funds one-on-one instruction for economically disadvantaged students utilizing 15 of the best private lesson instructors in North Texas. We currently have over 150 students involved in the Thelma Braun Music Enrichment program. We’re just so extremely grateful for this level of support from our community and our school district.”

According to Fisher, the Scott Middle School Band Hall is “home” to many students throughout the year. “Every room, even the courtyard, is filled with students practicing, studying, and visiting with each other from sun-up to sun-down every day,” said Fisher. “As Band Directors, our passion is not only to provide our students with a quality music education, but to also provide opportunities for our students to experience real life applications and leadership roles, while learning how to be great human beings with the capacity to do good deeds and accomplish great things in the world.”

Scott Middle School band musicians pack the Band Hall to practice for upcoming Christmas concerts and competitions. “Enrollment in our SMS Band has been on the rise in recent years, growing from around 100 to well over 200 student musicians in the last two years,” said Fisher.

: A record ten Scott Middle School musicians earned coveted spots on the prestigious 2017 All-Region Band. Regional qualifiers include, from left, back row: Hunter Henson, Grace Cameron, Jay Matherly, Axton Grams, Luke Sparlin and John Dornstadter; front row: Logan O'Kray, Sean Hively, David Ariza and Gavin Dunaway. “We had more All-Region qualifiers this year than in the past ten years combined,” said SMS Director of Bands Brandon Fisher.

Brandon Fisher, Scott Middle School Director of Bands, works individually and in groups with tuba players and other instrumentalists throughout daily practices.

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