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Irmo High School Band Sees a Year of Growth and Progress

Irmo, SC – Espirit de corps. It’s defined as a feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by the members of a group. While not a phrase you hear every day, it is one of the core tenants of the Irmo High School band. Students have embraced the message of camaraderie and are creating lasting memories and lifelong skills.

The director of bands at Irmo High School, Roger Simpson, said participation in the band can help students with time management, cooperation, teamwork and goal setting.

“What our students get from the experience goes far beyond the notes, reading notes and reading music,” he explained. “There are so many life skills that are taught every day that the students can hopefully benefit from. I think they hear from me probably more often than none, the concept of putting your full effort forward so that there’s no room for regret later.”

Students Will Galan and Katelyn Talley have taken Simpson’s message to heart, citing the band as one of the best experiences of their high school career.

Galan noted, “It’s a very family type environment. Everybody’s very supportive of each other. We all realize that we’re working towards these awesome goals, but also understand that at the same time we’re just out there to have fun and a good time, to get a good experience out of it.”

Talley said her band teachers have motivated her to pursue music education as a career. “It taught me cooperation and a level of self-respect,” she said. “I want to give that to other students.”

The band’s tradition of excellence at Irmo High School is known around the country. As the South Carolina State Champions for ten years between 1991 and 2002, the band developed a concrete reputation for success. Following a few challenging years, Simpson said the band is seeing growth and progress.

The marching band placed second at the Lower-State State Marching Band Championships and went on to place second at the state finals this year. The symphonic band and symphonic winds both ranked Superior at the Concert Band Performance Assessment. 15 students performed with the Region Band and four students performed with the All-State Band. The band was also a recipient of the South Carolina Band Directors Association’s Outstanding Performance Award, earning a cumulative 100 out of 100 possible points.

Principal David Riegel said, “The Irmo High School band is a continuing source of pride for the entire Irmo community. Mr. Simpson and his staff have made great strides in the musicianship of our band. It has been a pleasure to watch our students grow to greater and greater accomplishments with their music.”

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