2017 SCMEA Band Division Performing Ensembles

Congratulations to the following members and organizations for their performances at the 2017 SCMEA Conference.

Blythewood High School Wind Symphony
Friday, February 3, 2017
11:30am, USC Alumni Center
James Barnes, Director

barnesThe Blythewood High School Wind
Symphony is under the Director of Mr. James Barnes. The Wind Symphony is the top performing concert ensemble at Blythewood High School. Membership is open to all students regardless of age. Each student in the band program receives weekly master class instruction on region/state audition music and concert band literature. The Wind Symphony last performed at SCMEA in
 2009. Since then, the band has consistently received superior ratings at Concert Performance Assessment. The Blue Legion band program has also formed a full size concert band comprising of 60 members. This year the band is honored to be performing at the 2017 SCMEA conference as well as the University of South Carolina Honor Band Clinic!

The University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble
Friday, February 3, 2017
2:30pm, USC Alumni Center
Dr. Scott Weiss, Director                                                                           

weiss_new255Winner of the 2014 American Prize, the USC Wind Ensemble
 is the premier wind band at the University of South Carolina. Passionately committed to new music, the ensemble has premiered works by numerous composers, including Joseph Schwantner, Jennifer Higdon, David Dzubay, Joseph Turrin, and William Bolcom. In addition, the Wind Ensemble embraces the standard wind band repertoire, including works by Paul Hindemith, Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland, Karel Husa, Vincent Persichetti, Gustav Holst, and the many other great composers who have contributed wonderful music to an ever-growing repertoire.

In recent years, the USC Wind Ensemble has performed before the College Band Directors National Association (2013), the American Bandmasters Association (2014), and the South Carolina Music Educators Association (2011). In addition, in March 2012 the ensemble toured the People’s Republic of China, performing sold out concerts in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shaoxing, Huzhou, and Zhuji. The group’s standing-room-only performance in Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts was broadcast live throughout China, and the ensemble also performed for the members of the People’s Liberation Army of China Military Band in Beijing.

The ensemble has two critically-acclaimed CD’s available worldwide: A disc on the Naxos label featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein and a disc on Mark Records featuring the group’s live performance at the 2013 CBDNA National Conference. Both recordings are available at major online retailers as well as on major download sites, including iTunes. A third disc is currently in production with an anticipated release on the Summit Records label in early 2017.

Lexington High School Jazz Band
Friday, February 3, 2017
4:00pm, Ballroom A
Dr. David O’Shields, Director             


The Lexington High School Jazz Band had its beginnings as a stage band club that met once per week in the early 1960’s. Under the leadership of Dr. Richard McMahan (LHS band director, 1968-1979), the club became a full-fledged jazz ensemble that became a part of the school curriculum, meeting daily as a class throughout the year. Dr. McMahan, along with other influential directors from around the state, worked with the SC Department of Education to develop and adopt a jazz curriculum that allowed students to receive credit for jazz band as a class in the early 1970’s.

During the 1980’s, jazz band was not a part of the band program at LHS. In the spring of 1994, the jazz band was re-established as a volunteer group that met one day a week after school by Dr. Jerry Gatch. When Lexington High School moved to a block schedule, the jazz band returned to the school curriculum, meeting daily in the spring semester. The increased rehearsal time was of great benefit to the ensemble; however students had to plan their schedules carefully in order to be able to participate in both traditional band classes and jazz band. The LHS Jazz Band began to perform more frequently, both in the community and at the Newberry (later SCBDA) Jazz Festival.

Currently the LHS Jazz Band continues to meet as a class during the second semester. Students in the LHS Jazz Band pursue a curriculum that includes both full ensemble and combo performance. Class time is devoted to the study of various jazz styles and improvisation, and each student is required to improvise a solo in both rehearsal and performance settings.    

Over the years, the LHS Jazz Band has worked with a number of guest artists and professional clinicians including Marvin Stamm, Roger Pemberton, Clark Terry, Tommy Ferguson, Ed Soph, John Riley, Matt Wilson, Terrell Stafford, Luis Bonilla, Scott Wendholdt, and Steve Fidyk. LHS has hosted performances and clinics by various collegiate jazz ensembles and the USAF Airmen of Note. At least one concert per year features a guest performer, often professional musicians from the area. Recent guest soloists include Dick Goodwin, Bryson Borgstedt, Lauren Meccia, John Entzi, Mary Clare Gatch and Tony Roebuck.

The Lexington High School Jazz Band has consistently received superior ratings at the Newberry Jazz Festival /SCBDA State Jazz Festival and is a regular participant in the Northwestern High School Jazz Discovery Festival. LHS student musicians have been selected frequently for the SCBDA Jazz All-State Bands, and many continue to perform at the collegiate level.

The band performs several local concerts each spring and has been a featured ensemble at the South Carolina Teacher of the Year Gala and was honored to serve as the house band for the annual Palmetto’s Finest Awards Ceremony sponsored by the SC Association of School Administrators. Additional performances include full ensemble and combo performances for area schools, churches and retirement communities.

Florence Chapel Middle School Band
Saturday, February 4, 2017
11:30 am, USC Alumni Center
Alicia Crutchlow, Director                             


The Florence Chapel Middle School Band program in Duncan, South Carolina has embodied excellence since its inception in 2004.  The 210 seventh and eighth grade students comprise the 7th Grade Band, 8th Grade Band, the FCMS Concert Band, and FCMS Symphonic Band.  The FCMS band has consistently received Superior Ratings at the South Carolina Band Directors Association’s Concert Performance Assessment, earned the SCBDA Outstanding Performance Award for 10 consecutive years, and placed over 90 students in the SC Region One and All-State Bands in the past four years. The Florence Chapel Middle School Band is honored to perform for the South Carolina Music Educators In-Service Conference on Saturday, February 4th, 2017.


Alicia Crutchlow is in her ninth year as Director of Bands at Florence Chapel Middle School. Under Mrs. Crutchlow’s direction, bands have consistently received the SCBDA Outstanding Performance Award. Mrs. Crutchlow’s students have earned numerous Superior ratings at SCBDA State Concert Festival and Solo and Ensemble Festival. Many of her students have been chosen for the Region and State honor bands. Mrs. Crutchlow was named Teacher of the Year at Florence Chapel Middle School in 2013 and was named one of District Five’s Finest Teachers in 2015. 

Mrs. Crutchlow received her Bachelor’s of Music from the University of South Carolina. While attending USC, Mrs. Crutchlow studied horn, served as drum major for the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, and was a member of the USC Symphonic Band. She received her Master’s in Education, and a second Master’s in School Administration and Supervision, both from Southern Wesleyan University. In her free time, Mrs. Crutchlow enjoys photography, running, and spending time with her family.

Chapin High School Symphonic Band
Saturday, February 4, 2017
9:00am, USC Alumni Center
Kevin Hebert, Director 

chapin-bandThe Chapin Band program has a long tradition of excellence. 
The Symphonic Band was established in 2013 to challenge the more advanced instrumentalist in the Chapin Bands.  This auditioned group emulates the highest level of excellence year after year.  Since its existence, it has received superior ratings at the SCBDA Concert Performance Assessment, Dixie Classic, National Adjudicators Invitational, and has performed at SC’s inaugural State Concert Band Festival. 

Kevin Hebert was named director of hebertBands at Chapin High
School in July of 2010. Mr. Hebert is from Columbia, SC and an alumnus
 of Irmo High School.  He earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of South Carolina. While at the University of South Carolina, Mr. Hebert served as Vice President of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and was also a member of the 2000 World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. He is a current member of the Palmetto Concert Band and Carolina Wind Symphony.  He previously was the Director of Bands in the Bristol Tennessee City School System from 2002-2010.  

Under the direction of Mr. Hebert, the Chapin Bands have received multiple awards and accomplishments. The Jazz Ensemble has received Superior Ratings at the State Jazz Festival every year for the past five years. The Marching Band has been State Champions three out of the last six years and has been Lower State Champions five out of the last six years. The Concert and Symphonic Bands consistently receive Superior Ratings at Concert Festival and the Symphonic Band was selected to play a clinic at the SC Music Educators Association Conference in 2014 and now as a featured performer in 2017.

Mr. Hebert is a member of the South Carolina Band Director’s Association, The National Association for Music Education, National Band Association, American School Band Directors Association, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Hebert has also been named as one of School Band and Orchestra’s “Americas 50 Band Directors that Make a Difference” and was a quarterfinalist for the 2017 Music Educator Grammy Award. In 2015 he was named the Chapin High School Teacher of the Year and District Teacher of the Year for Lexington/Richland School District 5.

The Palmetto Concert Band
Saturday, February 4, 2017
2:00pm, USC Alumni Center
Dr. Scott Weiss, Director

palmetto-bandThe Palmetto Concert Band was founded in 1999 by James K. Copenhaver and William J. Moody. The ensemble is comprised of professional and semi-professional musicians from throughout South Carolina, with members also from North Carolina and Georgia. A large majority of the ensemble’s members are alumni of the University of South Carolina School of Music; more than half of its members are public school band directors. These experienced performers, who receive no compensation for participating, choose to play with the ensemble because of their passion for making music and performing outstanding repertoire composed or transcribed for the wind band. Now in its seventeenth season, the Palmetto Concert Band performs annually for the University of South Carolina Band Clinic in February, at its Memorial Day Concert honoring members and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. In addition to performing a season of free concerts in the Columbia area, the ensemble has also been featured on the international stage. Based upon a recording of its premier performance at the Koger Center for the Arts in February 1999, the ensemble was invited to perform the finale concert at the 1999 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois. The Palmetto Concert Band is proud to have been given the honor of performing at the Midwest Clinic again in December 2008 and for a third time in December 2016. Other featured performances include the South Carolina Music Educators in Charleston, SC in February 2005, and the North Carolina Music Educators Convention in Winston-Salem, NC in November 2011. In March 2010, the ensemble performed at the American Bandmasters Association’s 76th Annual Convention and gave the finale concert at the 2016 National Band Association Convention, both in Charleston, SC.