While classes at Jefferson Middle School meet by grade level, the program is split into three groups to allow students access to play a multitude of different music. If middle school band is supposed to expose students to a variety of different styles and pieces, then Jefferson Middle School certainly satisfies with the following groups:
Jefferson Middle School 6th Grade Concert Band
This group contains both the entire 6th grade beginning band class as well as the 8th grade secondary band class. Secondary band is an 8th grade class that allows students to learn another instrument in addition the one they have learned throughout middle school up until that point. It also allows the opportunity for any 8th graders outside of the program to join band “late” and learn with students quite comfortable playing, but more on the beginning level. Placing these groups together gives leadership opportunities for 8th grade students and allows the 6th grade to benefit from sitting aside these accomplished young musicians. The group performs 5-6 concerts a year and does attend Large Group Performance evaluation in the Spring.
Students in these groups are allowed to participate in the District 14 Solo and Ensemble Festival in April. 6th graders are nominated for the District 14 First Year Honor Band, annually hosted and organized by Jefferson Middle and High Schools.
Jefferson Middle School Symphonic Band
This is the 7th and 8th grade all inclusive group. Students in this group hit the ground running on what would be considered the “typical” middle school band repertoire, on the Georgia Music Educators Association grade 2-3 level. Students are auditioned for each concert cycle for seating and the group plays at least 5 concerts each year.
Students in this group are allowed to participate in all kinds of events that pertain to the school as well as outside district and state events. Over the years, students in this group have performed at the school’s pep rallies, performances at system feeder schools, and holiday performances for the student body. 8th grade students are encouraged at least once a year to perform in the Jefferson Dragon Regiment’s 8th grade night, where they play alongside current Regiment members and get a taste of what high school marching band could be like.
In addition, Students in this group are allowed to participate in the District 14 Solo and Ensemble Festival in April. Students may be nominated to participate in the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival held in December, and may also choose to audition for the prestigious GMEA District 14 Honor Band and the GMEA All State Band.
Jefferson Middle School Honor Band
This group was started by Mr. Pace in 2012 and has only strengthened both in numbers and in ability as it has aged. This group allows the students from the JMS Symphonic Band to be challenged by music that is considered on the difficult side of middle school band, typically on the Georgia Music Educators Association grade 3 or 4 list. The group meets on Tuesday/Thursday mornings
at 7:20AM to rehearse music for at least 5-6 concerts each year. Students in this group typically
represent the most dedicated at Jefferson Middle School, representing the school in various district and state honor bands. The size and the caliber of the young musicians allows the group to put on smaller, impromptu performances for audiences.
Several students perform in all three groups in the same year, allowing a students to see up to at least 36 different pieces of music for concert performance in one year, as well as a multitude of pieces to read through and not necessarily perform. Mr. Pace could not be more proud of his students at Jefferson Middle School and their dedication to the program through their participation in one, two, or all three of these groups.