JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (CCSD/WCIV) - James Island Middle School hosted the Bands of the Islands first concert Festival Camp, Clinic, and Concert Experience on Feb. 1-2.
Students from the James Island Middle School Honor Band, Fort Johnson Middle School Honor Band, and James Island Charter High School Festival Band all converged at James Island Middle School after school on Friday.
Each group rehearsed separately beginning Friday, Feb. 1, from 4:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The students were under the direction of Commander Mike Alverson, The Citadel Director of Bands, Lanie Radecke, Assistant Director of Bands at Wando High School, and Chris Bluemel, The Instrument Doc and former military musician.
These three directors worked as clinicians for each of the groups, rehearsing and teaching the students comprehensive musicianship, and imparting their invaluable knowledge to the budding musicians.
They also shared their joy and love of music, encouraged students to continue playing their instruments and to enjoy a lifetime of musical adventures. The clinicians and students finished the weekend with a Community Concert on Saturday in the James Island Middle School Gymnasium.
Fort Johnson Honor Band was under the direction of band director Jay Jehl and Radecke. The James Island Middle Honor Band was under the direction of band director Gary Stroupe and Cmdr. Alverson. The James Island Charter High School Festival Band was under the direction of band director Neville Curtis and Bluemel.
After only two days of rehearsal, each group was able to perform two of the three selections they will take to the State Festival for Concert Band.
In addition to working with guest conductors, the students also
participated in a Master class experience for an hour and a half. A
professional musician assessed the student's playing skills, then worked to
strengthen the students in tone production, musicality, and shared their
knowledge of what it means to be and how to become a professional musician.
All clinicians and master class teachers commented on how professional and well behaved the students were. All three band directors were excited for the upcoming concert season for their students, and look forward to prepare the students to compete in the South Carolina Band Director Association's State Concert Festival in March.
The Bands of the Island will perform their full programs on March 14 at the James Island Charter High School Gym. The concert is free and open to the public.