Welcome to the
Riverwatch Band Program
CONGRATULATIONS to the RMS Symphonic Band for being invite to perform 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. We look forward to your concert in January of 2022!
CONGRATULATIONS to the 21 RMS Band students who earned a position in the 2021 GMEA All-State Bands, as well as the 5 alternates! This is the highest honor attainable by a middle school band student in the state of Georgia. This is, for the 2nd year in a row, 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:
CONGRATULATIONS to the 64 RMS Band students who earned a position in the 2021 District IX Honor Bands, as well as the 9 alternates! This is, for the 11th year in a row, the highest number from a single school in the district. You can see the full band rosters here:
About the Riverwatch Band Program ...
The Riverwatch Middle School Band Program serves 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.
In 2021, Riverwatch had 21 total students make the GMEA All-State Band. For the second year in a row, this is the most students from a single middle school in the state. In 2020, Riverwatch had a school record of 34 total students make the GMEA All-State Band. In the same year, 86 students made the District IX Honor Band - a school and district record.
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 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.
The Riverwatch Middle School Band Program is a three-time recipient of the Exemplary Performance Award from the Georgia Music Educators Association (2010, 2015, and 2019). 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.
In active encouragement of new music composed for middle school band, the Riverwatch Band Program is consortium member for a new work by composer James M. David. Previously, the Riverwatch Band Program commissioned composer Richard A. Crosby to write a Grade II piece for world premiere at the University of Georgia Middle School Festival. This commission is titled Tribute and is available from Northeastern Music. The Riverwatch Band Program was also a member of a nationwide consortium that commissioned composer Donald Grantham to write a work for middle school band. This commission is titled Baron Piquant on Pointe and was performed at the 2012 Southern Division NBA/CBDNA convention by the Riverwatch Symphonic Band.
Tues., Sept. 7th - 7th & 8th Grade Pep Band Night at Lambert High School (After school, students picked up from Lambert HS Stadium by 8:15 p.m.)
Friday, Sept. 10th - Band Rock-a-thon! (4:30-9:30 p.m. in RMS cafeteria)
Thurs., Sept. 16th - 8th Grade Night at Lambert High School (after school @ Lambert HS Stadium) - 8th Grade ONLY
Thurs., October 7th – 6th Grade Preview Concert (Gym, students report at 6:40 p.m., starts at 7:00 p.m.)
Tues., Nov. 2nd - All-State Mock Auditions (after school @ RMS)
Thurs., Nov. 11th - 7th Grade Concert (7:00 p.m. in Gym, students report at 6:40 p.m.) All 7th Grade band students perform
Friday, Nov. 12th - 8th Grade Concert (7:00 p.m. in Gym, students report at 6:40 p.m.) All 8th Grade band students perform
Saturday, Dec. 4th - 1st round All-State auditions (Location TBD)
Friday, Dec. 10th - 6th Grade & Symphonic Band Concert (7:00 p.m. in Gym, students report at 6:40 p.m.)
About The Directors . . .
Hunter McGee is the Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School. He also worked extensively with the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, serving as the Percussion Coordinator since 2013. 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 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 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.