Oconee, Ga.— The North Oconee Band is busy learning new material for their Christmas Concert, but Band Director Scott Smith is teaching his students more than just music.
Step into the North Oconee band room and you’ll see a lot of trophies. These trophies are the result of Band Director Scott Smith’s dedication to his students. In just three years he has grown the program with one hundred and fifteen students, but Smith says most of these students will only play music in high school.
“I kind of look at it as if I can give them some tools to be successful in life whether it be in their careers, or relationships or just whatever they choose to do in college or beyond that’s the biggest thing that we can do for them as a band program as I can do as a director,” says Smith.
One of these tools is leadership. A lesson that Mr. Smith has been teaching Senior Kaitlyn Ballard. She dreams about marching in the Redcoat Band at the University of Georgia and she says Mr. Smith has helped her make that dream a possibility.
“He’s funny and he’s sarcastic, and he’s only been here for a few years, but the more he’s been with us, the more comfortable he’s become. He’s opened up and I feel like I can just go to him for anything,” says Ballard.
Senior Klay Whitehead plays in the drum line. He says Mr. Smith has taught him the lesson of teamwork and hard work.
“I’m always wanting to progress and when I hear something I like it’s like it just drives me to do better or to figure something out that’s complicated. It’s just like motivation for me,” says Whitehead.
Smith says the trophies aren’t his motivation.
“It’s spending time with the students and seeing them succeed,” says Smith.
The band will be performing December 3 in the Watkinsville Christmas Parade.
By: McKenzie Lewis and Kendall Meissner