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    Welcome to the

     

    Riverwatch Band Program

     

     
     
     
    Mr. Hunter McGee
    Director of Bands
     

    hmcgee42@forsyth.k12.ga.us

     

    Ms. Katie Larkin
    Associate Director of Bands
     

    klarkin@forsyth.k12.ga.us

     
     
     

    CONGRATULATIONS to the 84 RMS Band students who earned a position in the 2023 District IX Honor Bands, as well as the 14 alternates! For the 14th year in a row, this is the highest number from a single school in the district - and the highest number in Riverwatch school history. You can see the full band rosters here:  

    2023 District IX Honor Bands

    GMEA Exemplary Performance Award 

    Symphonic Band

    CONGRATULATIONS to the 25 RMS Band students who earned a position in the 2022 GMEA All-State Bands! This is the highest honor attainable by a middle school band student in the state of Georgia. This is, for the 3rd consecutive year, the highest number of students from a single middle school to be selected to the All-State Band. We are so proud of all students who auditioned! You can see the full All-State Bands rosters here:

    2022 GMEA Middle School All-State Bands

    All-State Band Members

    Where Eagles Soar

     

     

    CONGRATULATIONS to the RMS Symphonic Band on your performance at the 2022 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference! This is the most highly regarded invited performance for a middle school band in the entire state.

    RMS Symphonic Band Performing at GMEA

  • Important Dates

    Optional events in italics. 
    Required events in bold.

    Tuesday, October 11th: Optional Pep Band Event (7th & 8th grade only) vs. SFMS - after school at Lambert High School Stadium

    Thursday, October 13th: 6th Grade Fall Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym

    October 17-21: 6th Grade Optional 2nd Round Instrument Tryouts (before & after school)

    Tuesday, November 1st: Optional All-State Mock Audition (after school)

    Friday, November 4th: Optional 8th Grade Band Night (hosted by Lambert HS Band Program)

    Thursday, November 10th: 8th Grade Fall Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym

    Tuesday, November 15th: 7th Grade Fall Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym  

    Saturday, December 3rd: Optional All-State First Round Auditions at Otwell Middle School (7th & 8th grade only)

    Wednesday, December 14th: 6th Grade & Symphonic Band Winter Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym

    Saturday, January 7th: Optional All-State Second Round Auditions at Union Grove Middle School (7th & 8th grade only)

    February 3-4: District Honor Band (by audition only)

    March 2-4: All-State Band (by audition only)

    March 2023: State Performance Evaluations (7th & 8th grade only, performance dates and times TBD)

    Saturday, April 22: District Solo & Ensemble Optional Event at Riverwatch Middle School

    Thursday, April 27th: 7th & 8th Grade Spring Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym

    Thursday, May 11th: 6th Grade Spring Concert - 7:00 pm in RMS Gym


  • About the Riverwatch Band Program ...

    The Riverwatch Middle School Band Program serves over 600 students in grades 6-8. Each year, all students perform in several concerts at Riverwatch. 7th and 8th grade students participate in GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluations. Riverwatch students consistently participate in the GMEA All-State Band, District IX Honor Band, and District IX Solo & Ensemble. Riverwatch hosts the annual District IX Solo & Ensemble event in April.

    The Riverwatch Symphonic Band has presented invited performances at the following conventions: 

    2022 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference

    2019 Reinhardt University Middle School Honor Band Clinic

    2017 The Midwest Clinic: An International Band & Orchestra Conference

    2017 Music for All Southeastern Concert Band Festival

    2016 National Band Association/College Band Directors National Assoc. Southern Division 

    2015 University of Georgia Middle School Festival

    2014 University of Alabama Honor Band

    2014 Music for All National Concert Band Festival

    2013 Georgia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference

    2012 Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University

    2012 National Band Association/College Band Directors National Assoc. Southern Division 

    2010 University of Georgia Middle School Festival. 

    The Riverwatch Middle School Band Program is a four-time recipient of the Exemplary Performance Award from the Georgia Music Educators Association (2010, 2015, 2019, and 2022). The Exemplary Performance Award is the most prestigious award available to middle school bands in Georgia and recognizes middle school bands that achieve outstanding results in all areas of performance, including Large Group Performance Evaluation, Solo and Ensemble, All-State Band, and District Honor Band. The award is presented to the most outstanding bands in Georgia whose students excel in all aspects of band performance, both individually and as part of a group.

    The Riverwatch Band Program is a 2017 recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundation's Sudler Cup and 2016 recipient of the National Blue Ribbon Program of Excellence Award, presented by the National Band Association. The Riverwatch Symphonic Band was named a 2015 Commended Winner in the National Wind Band Honors, and has previously been a four-time state level winner (2011-2014). The Riverwatch Symphonic Band has appeared on "Strike Up the Band" on National Public Radio, WABE 90.1. 

    In active encouragement of new music composed for middle school band, the Riverwatch Band Program is commissioning a new piece of music in 2022 by Minoo Dixon. Mr. Dixon is a composition student at the New England Conservatory of music who is originally from Suwanee, Georgia.

    Previous commissions/consortiums:

    Tribute (Richard A. Crosby) - 2011
    Baron Piquant on Pointe (Donald Grantham) - 2012
    Tapestries (Haley Woodrow) - 2018


  •  About The Directors . . .

    Hunter McGee

     

    Hunter McGee is the Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School. Under his direction, the Riverwatch Symphonic Band performed at the GMEA In-Service Conference and is a two-time recipient of the GMEA Exemplary Performance Award (2019 & 2022). He has also worked extensively with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, serving as the Percussion Coordinator from 2013-2020. McGee has performed with AYWS (and worked on performance tours) in Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA), Carnegie Hall (NYC), Severance Hall (Cleveland), the New World Center (Miami), and the Music Center at Strathmore. Additionally, McGee serves as Director of Music at Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church.

    Mr. McGee graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia, where he was a percussion student of Timothy K. Adams and Kimberly Toscano Adams. While completing his Bachelors of Music Education, he performed with the UGA Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Percussion Ensemble, including a performance at the GMEA In-State Conference and recording sessions with the Hogdson Wind Ensemble. Prior to his appointment at Riverwatch, Mr. McGee served as Director of Bands at Dacula Middle School. He also served as Director of Percussion at Lakeside High School (Atlanta) from 2014-2017. McGee arranges and composes music for various organizations in the Metro-Atlanta area. Professional affiliations include NAfME, GMEA, NBA, and PAGE.

     

     

     

    Katie Larkin Katie Larkin is the Associate Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School. She has also served on the marching band staff of several high school band programs in both Florida and Georgia.

    Ms. Larkin graduated from The Florida State University, where she studied clarinet under Dr. Deborah Bish and Dr. Jonathan Holden. While completing her Bachelors of Music Education, she performed with the FSU Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Orchestra, Clarinet Choir, and Marching Chiefs. While a member of these ensembles, she performed in venues throughout the state of Florida on the 2018 CBDNA Southern Division Tour and played in the memorial performance for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in France. She has also performed with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony in Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA) and Carnegie Hall (NYC). Before coming to Riverwatch, Ms. Larkin served as the Director of Bands at Largo Middle School in Pinellas County, Florida. Her professional affiliations include NAfME, GMEA, and FMEA.

Last Modified on December 8, 2022