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Seven schools unite for band camp in South Forsyth

Anna Brown, rising eighth-grader at Vickery Creek Middle School, plays trumpet during camp. (click for larger version)
June 24, 2014
CUMMING, Ga. — Last week, South Forsyth Middle School kicked off the summer with the New Notes band camp.

Andrew Pool, South Forsyth Middle School's band director, said the camp was a cost-effective, convenient and fun day camp for middle schoolers.

Myra Rhoden, camp director, said students came to the camp from seven middle schools: Liberty, Lakeside, North Gwinnett, Otwell, Vickery Creek, Notre Dame Academy and South Forsyth.

"The students play their instruments all week, getting specialized instruction, and then we do some fun things like an ice cream party, different team-building activities and a fun concert at the end of the week," Rhoden said.

Members of camp have at least one year of band experience. Students rehearsed chamber music and a recital.

The camp took place the week of June 16.

Pool said he is happy to host the camp and has high expectations for the band for the upcoming school year.

On Oct. 20, South Forsyth Middle School's band will receive the exemplary performance award from the Georgia Music Educators Association at South Forsyth High School's Performing Arts Center, 585 Peachtree Parkway in Cumming.

"I expect the students in the band to continue elevating their performance," Pool said. "We have already committed to a trip to Disney in March for Festival Disney. It's kind of a big thing, and the students are very excited about that."

In addition to this trip, Pool said he is starting a percussion ensemble next year.

Pool said South Forsyth Middle School has a new band room, which will be used in the fall.

"We are really excited about the new band room," Pool said. "Believe it or not, there have been 70-plus students crammed into a tiny band room in the past. "The plan is to double the size of the room for next year, so that should make a huge difference."

Pool said the program has 130 students and is expecting 285 next year. He said he expects to have over 300 members two years from now.

"Watching the program grow so fast has been very exciting," he said.

Pool, who has taught band for 22 years, became South Forsyth Middle's band director in 2012.

"I have really enjoyed teaching at South Forsyth Middle School," Pool said. "The students have been very hungry to learn and get better, and the community as well as the great administration has made everything easier and more fun."

For more information about the camp, visit


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