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SMS Band Proves to be an Exceptional Program

posted Apr 19, 2017, 11:09 AM by Lee Stephens   [ updated Apr 19, 2017, 11:10 AM ]
When evaluating a band program for exceptional quality quite a few criteria must be met. This year the band program at Seneca Middle School has met the usual standards and then some.

Over the course of the school year, the program, led by Band Director Jason Ray, has seen his students check off the usual measures of achievement one by one. Have a sizable number of students earn places in All-County Band? Check, with 29 band members representing the school including four who earned first chair honors. Have students make Region Band? Check, six students, with one named first chair, achieved places in this band composed of students throughout Oconee, Pickens, Greenville and Spartanburg counties. Did any student earn entry into All-State band? Check, two Seneca Middle band members represented the school in this group, the most elite in the state. Earn a Superior Rating at the State Concert Performance Assessment? Check plus, as the school’s Symphonic Band earned a Superior Rating with Distinction which can only be given when all of the judges award the band the highest rating possible.

Those accolades alone would mark the program as an accomplished one, but recently the program went even one step further on the road to exceptionalism. The SMS Symphonic Band traveled to Nashville to perform at the Nashville Heritage Festival. And did they ever perform! Not only did the group earn first place in their class (middle schools) with a Gold Rating, their scores were also high enough to earn the Adjudicator’s Award. However, their achievements didn’t stop there. They also earned the Outstanding Band Award by placing first among ALL band programs at the festival regardless of class including a sizable number of high schools.

By any and all measures the Seneca Middle School band program has certainly earned recognition as a truly exceptional band program. Following its latest achievement, Director Jason Ray said of his students, “Our program has been blessed not only with raw talent but also with great dedication, caring and a strong work ethic. They have worked hard all year and I am pleased that their hard work has been recognized on many levels and in multiple settings.”