PRESS RELEASE: Twiggs County Fine Arts Hosts Allen University for Virtual Band Scholarship Seminar!

Jeffersonville, GA – Studies have shown that students who complete courses in music score higher on their SATs, have higher GPAs, and receive more academic honors than their counterparts. We are proud of the academic achievement of our band students. Since the founding of our program (just 12 years ago) a band student has been selected as the class Valedictorian or Salutatorian each year. We are also very proud to say our band students have earned over $500,000 in college scholarships.

In an effort to keep this strong academic tradition going, the Twiggs County Fine Arts Department hosted a virtual band scholarship seminar with Allen University out of Columbia South Carolina, on Thursday, January 21st 2021.

Our junior and senior band students were in attendance and actively engaged as the Band Director, Band Staff, and Admissions Director From Allen University conducted a band and academic scholarship seminar. Students were presented with information on all facets of the Allen University Band program and scholarship audition requirements. They were also given requirements for presidential scholarships and other academic scholarship programs. In addition to those scholarships, Allen University indicated that they will waive application fees and out of state tuition fees for our band students!

The students enjoyed the presentation and participated in a question and answer segment at the end of the event. One of our seniors, Ms. Aylah Birks, stated… “I thoroughly enjoyed this presentation. Thank you for taking the time to host this event for us.”

In the coming weeks we will present more information on student scholarship opportunities as we host a number of university band programs through virtual sessions. It is our goal that EVERY Twiggs County High School Band Senior will receive a scholarship to the university of their choosing! Stay tuned for more virtual sessions!

PRESS RELEASE: Twiggs County Fine Arts Teachers Host Maryland Music Educator For Professional Development

Jeffersonville, GA – Twiggs County Fine Arts Teachers have been hard at work preparing for the new school year. Virtual Learning has presented new challenges for our fine arts department but we are facing those challenges head on! Mr. Ernest Stackhouse, our Fine Arts Director, introduced a new learning platform to the district called Smartmusic which is assisting our teachers and students in meeting that challenge.

SmartMusic is the leading browser-based music education platform used by music educators around the world. It consists of a suite of music education tools that support; instrumental and vocal practice, playing/singing assessments, and music literature for all levels of musicianship.

Krystal Williams,
Technology Chair, MMEA

To ensure a positive experience for our teachers and students, Mr. Stackhouse solicited the help of veteran band director and music educator Mrs. Krystal Williams, Technology Chair of the Maryland Music Educators Association. Mrs. Williams is a veteran user of Smartmusic, with over 10 years of experience, which makes her the perfect vessel to deliver this platform to our teachers at such a critical time.

On Tuesday, September 1st Mrs. Williams conducted a Presentation for our Fine Arts Teachers entitled “Teaching Smarter with Smartmusic”. During this presentation she spoke about all facets of Smartmusic including; practice tools, assessments, gradebook setup & support, rubrics, units, and analytics. She even discussed best practices for using Google Classroom…

Ms. Jessica Wimberly

“She was very helpful and answered all my questions. I think my students will love Smartmusic… Thank you for the training opportunity.”

Ms. Jessica Wimberly, Music Teacher – Jeffersonville Elementary

Through her presentation, Mrs. Williams has helped to ensure that the fine arts teachers of Twiggs County are, more than, prepared to teach our students and move our programs forward during this time of virtual instruction. Smartmusic is a noteworthy investment, and one of the many tools we will use this year to ensure our students receive the best education possible.

We would like to thank Mr. Elgin Dixon – Superintendent of Twiggs County Public Schools, Mrs. Miriam Rearden – Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction – Mrs. Rise Jenkins – Principal of Jeffersonville Elementary School, and Mr. Jamal Harris – Principal of Twiggs County Middle – High School for always supporting the arts in Twiggs County and for helping to make this experience possible.

PRESS RELEASE: Twiggs County Band Launches New Website

Jeffersonville, GA – The Twiggs County Middle-High School Band is inviting visitors to explore its new website.  The new website has been designed to offer the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality while providing the most up to date information on ensembles in the band program.

Created with the user experience in mind, the site includes many new features to help visitors to quickly and easily navigate the site and find the data or media they need.  New features include:

  • The Band’s Google Calendar Find out where The Cobras are performing next, when Band Class assignments are due, and when the next board meeting will be, all in one beautifully displayed location.
  • Full Access To Band Data Forms Never worry about turning in permission slips, medical forms, and any other document again! With our new site, it’s all virtual.
  • Access To Virtual Learning Tools And Software Parents can access infinite campus and Google Classroom to monitor student progress in just a few clicks while students can login to Smartmusic with ease.
  • One-Click Band Booster Signup  We are in the process of creating a new Cobra Band Booster Organization. With our new sign-up portal, you can become a member in three seconds flat!

In addition to all that was mentioned, the site boasts full access to Marching Cobra Social Media Outlets with instant updates so that you can follow your favorite band all year long!

Visitors to the new site can stay informed with the latest School News through the new News And Events blog.  This blog contains rich online content such as video, press releases, featured interviews and newsletters.  This valuable content will also be posted on the social media sites that are featured at the bottom of each page throughout the site so the user is always just one click away from useful and pertinent information.

For more information on The Bands Of Twiggs County and to view the site, please visit www.twiggscountybands.org

COVID -19 UPDATE: Band Rehearsals And Performances

Greetings,

I hope this message finds you all safe and healthy. I wanted to give everyone the most up to date information about our start to the new academic year. 

As you all know Twiggs County Public Schools has made the decision to suspend all activities including the marching band until further notice. As your new director, The staff and I have spent many hours trying to find a viable way to make marching band work for our program. We have reached out to some of the finest bands in the country to see what they were doing and how it may work for us. 

We’ve exhausted every effort to “make it work”. However, we will not put our students in a situation that may cause harm to themselves or their familes. It is simply not worth the risk. Therefore I have cancelled bandcamp and all summer activities. Any marching band rehearsals and/or performances are being reevaluated on a weekly basis. I can not say that we will not have a marching season or not, however, if it does happen, it will look very different than years past.

So what’s next?…

If we have a football season this fall the band will support the school by providing entertainment in the stands. This new role as a “pep band” will limit our exposure to COVID-19 by cutting our rehearsal time in half. 

We also want to give every student the absolute best musical opportunity possible no matter the obstacles in front of us. The concert and jazz band programs are still a go. Students who are enrolled in band class will be assigned to one or, in some cases, both of those bands. We are still hopeful we can  participate in Concert Performance Assessment, Region/All State auditions, and also Solo and Ensemble. It’s never too early to start preparing for these events and this will be our primary focus during this first 9 weeks of virtual band class. I will be sharing all of these materials and audition requirements to you in our class syllabus.

Virtual Band Class will begin August 17th and will follow the normal school day schedule, however, we may modify this schedule as our state guigelines change. When you receive your class schedule in the mail pay close attention to your band class start time. The schedule permits for you to log on 5 mins early for each class. I suggest you do, just to make sure all audio and video is working well. 

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. I look forward to being your band leader this year and for years to come! 🙂

Ernest Stackhouse

Director of Fine Arts/Band Director

Twiggs County Public Schools