MCHS band students travel to symphonic camp

Brooke Tolbert For The Observer

February 5, 2014

PROSPERITY — The Mid-Carolina High School and Middle School bands attended Symphonic Camp at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant on Jan. 17 and Jan. 18. A symphonic camp is designed to be two days of intensive training with a nationally recognized clinician.

The students come away from this experience knowing what pieces they will prepare for the statewide Concert Festival. They also have a better understanding of ensemble techniques and musicality, a greater appreciation for one another, a desire to learn after being motivated by someone other than their own teacher, and a love for making great music.

Clinicians for the camp were Scott Rush, director of bands at Wando High School for the high school students, Marie Evans, director of bands at Moultrie Middle School for the middle school students and Kalley Laymon for the percussion students.

Rush is director of bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he received a master of music degree in French Horn Performance and studied with Boston Symphony principal hornist Charles Kavalovski.

While at NEC, Rush studied conducting under Frank Battisti and Pascal Verrot. Rush received his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina where he studied under Robert Pruzin and was the recipient of the Arthur Fraser Award for the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Music.

Rush is active as a clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and has also presented workshops at several universities and school districts. He is the author of two highly touted books, Habits of A Successful Band Director and The Evolution of A Successful Band Director for GIA Publications. He has written the Curriculum Guide for Instrumental Music for the S.C. State Department of Education.

He is also co-author of a method book titled Habits of A Successful Musician, also published by GIA Publications. Rush has been the recipient of the National Band Association’s Citation of Excellence on five occasions and was named Teacher of the Year in 2004. He is nationally board certified by NBPTS. In 2010, Rush was elected into the American Bandmasters Association and he is currently on the board of the National Band Association. He currently serves as vice president of the S.C. Band Directors Association.

Evans is the director of bands at Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant. She recently completed her master’s degree in music education from the University of Georgia where she was a graduate assistant with the Georgia Redcoat Band. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating with highest honors and was nominated for Student Teacher of the Year.

Before arriving in Mt. Pleasant, Evans taught instrumental music at Lovejoy Middle School in Lovejoy, Ga., for four years where she served as the Fine Arts and Exploratory chair, as well as producer of the All-County Honor Musical. The 325-member band program consisted of four performing bands and scored consistent superior ratings at numerous contests and festivals. She was named teacher of the year for the 2002-2003 school year.

Evans has studied conducting with Dr. John Culvahouse, Dr. David Kish and Dr. Matthew Mailman, and flute with Dr. Constance Lane, Dr. Mary Karen Clardy and Angela Jones-Reus. She works as a conductor and master class teacher with Encore! Summer Music Camps, and is an active middle school band clinician.

Laymon is a native of Prosperity and a 2011 graduate of Mid-Carolina High School. She currently is a music education major at Newberry College. Laymon’s primary instrument is percussion with trombone and baritone as secondary instruments.

Laymon was the drum major her senior year at Mid-Carolina as well as her junior year at Newberry College. She arranged the percussion music for Newberry College’s 2013 marching band show and is the marching percussion instructor at Mid-Carolina. She will begin her student teaching in the spring semester of 2015 and will graduate in 2015.

Brooke Tolbert is a senior band student at Mid-Carolina High School.