PROSPERITY — The Mid-Carolina High School and middle school bands participated in a symphonic camp Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 at Wando High School in Mt. Pleasant.
A symphonic camp is designed to be two days of intensive training with a nationally recognized clinician.
Students come away from the experience having decided what pieces they will prepare for the statewide concert festival. The students 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. In addition, it is an extremely effective way for the teachers to witness other great teachers in a laboratory environment.
This year, Mid-Carolina’s clinicians were Scott Rush from Wando High School for the high school students, Marie Evans from Moultrie Middle School for the middle school students and Gordon Hicken for all of 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, Mass., 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 and has written the Curriculum Guide for Instrumental Music for the South Carolina State Department of Education.
He is also co-author of a method book entitled Habits of A Successful Musician, also published by GIA Publications. He 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 prestigious American Bandmasters Association and he is currently on the board of the National Band Association.
The middle school clinician, Evans, is the director of bands at Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant. She recently completed her masters 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, she graduated 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 2002-03 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.
The percussion clinician was Gordon Hicken, currently an adjunct percussion instructor and the director of the Carolina Band Drumline at the University of South Carolina. Previously, he served as the adjunct percussion instructor at Chipola College in Marianna, Florida, and at Limestone College in Gaffney.
As a performer, Hicken recently served as the principal percussionist with Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Fla., and has performed in the percussion sections of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, the Carolina Pops Orchestra and the Toccoa Symphony Orchestra.
In 2011, he was part of a Midwest tour and performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention as a member of the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble. Hicken has also performed with large ensembles at the American Bandmasters Association National Convention, South Carolina Day of Percussion and multiple South Carolina Music Educators Association Conferences.
Active as a teacher, adjudicator and clinician, Hicken arranges music for marching and concert percussion ensembles throughout the Southeast. He recently completed his coursework for the doctor of music in percussion performance at The Florida State University, and he holds a master’s degree in percussion performance from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor of music degree in music education from Furman University.
His teachers include Dr. John W. Parks IV, Dr. Scott Herring, Dr. John Beckford, Prof. James Hall and Ron Schwartz.