Posted: Monday, May 7, 2018
For the first time in GCS history, nine band programs have earned the Outstanding Performance Award (OPA) from the South Carolina Band Directors Association (SCBDA). Each band performed in a year-long series of events in which they earned points toward the award. This award is the highest award given to a program by the SCBDA.
The award-winning band programs are Greer Middle, Greer High, League Middle Academy, Mauldin Middle, Mauldin High, Northwest Middle, Riverside Middle, Riverside High, and Travelers Rest High.
"I am very excited to see the state's recognition of the superb teaching and learning occurring in our schools,” said Adam Scheuch, band director at Mauldin High. “This seed was planted several years ago with the outward demonstration of support from the Board of Trustees and the high standards set by district and school administration. Today that seed is blossoming around the district and the arts are succeeding and valued in Greenville County more than ever before."
Greer Middle Band Co-Directors Matt Gill and Jordan Laird are honored to be among the elite to win the award. "It is a huge honor to finally receive the Outstanding Performance Award. It is a goal of all of the band programs in South Carolina, and it is extremely difficult to achieve," said Gill. Laird agreed, stating, “It is a really awesome thing to happen because this is my first year at Greer Middle and in Greenville County. To work with awesome teachers and students and accomplish this as a school for the first time is amazing.”
The League Academy Band was only one point away from winning the award last year. ““My students know I am super competitive and so does my principal. I looked at my seventh graders last year and said, ‘You are going to be eighth graders this year and you need to lead the charge.’ They really did. We had three students qualify for All-State Band for the first time in school history,” said Band Director Graham McBride.
In addition to the Outstanding Performance Awards, Greenville County Schools was recently named a Best Community for Music Education by the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM).
Greer Middle School - Directors, Matt Gill and Jordan Laird
This is the first time in history the band has earned the OPA. Matt Gill is in his 7th year as the director, and Jordan Laird is in her first year as the assistant director.
Greer High School - Director, Jeff Norman
Jeff Norman is in his 11th year as the director. The band has earned the OPA a total of three times, and the first since 2006.
League Middle Academy - Director, Graham McBride
This is the first time in history the band has earned the OPA. Graham McBride is a 2nd year teacher, both years at League.
Mauldin Middle School - Directors, Jim Kilgus and Julie Poston
The band has earned the OPA for the past 18 consecutive years. Jim Kilgus is in his 14th year as the director, and Julie Poston is in her 12th year as the director.
Mauldin High School - Directors, Adam Scheuch and JP Davis
The band has earned the OPA a total of 14 times, including the past 13 consecutive years. Adam Scheuch is in his 14th year as the director, and JP is in his first year as the assistant director.
Northwest Middle School - Director, Paul Laches
Paul Laches is in his second year as the director. The band has earned the OPA a total of 10 times, and the first time since 2013.
Riverside Middle School - Director, Kevin Styles
Kevin Styles is in his 19th year as the director. The band has earned the OPA a total of 9 times, including the past three consecutive years.
Riverside High School - Director, Kris Bence
The band has earned the OPA a total of 5 times, including the past four consecutive years. Kris Bence is in his first year as the director.
Travelers Rest High School - Director, Carl Wylie
Carl Wylie is in his 11th year as the director. The band has earned the OPA a total of 23 times, including the last eight consecutive years.