The SSHS Bands have had a big year, with 18 Seniors graduating from the program in 2017. Mr. Brad Flinders has had these Seniors under his wing for the past 7 years, and they will leave South Summit with a strong musical background. He has directed the high school percussion, concert, pep, jazz, and summer marching bands since 2005. This past November he took a select group of students to compete in the Rural High School Honor Band in Richfield. Even during his recovery from health problems over Christmas Break, Mr. Flinders has been key in the band program’s ongoing success.
Mr. David Omer, who joined the staff two years ago, is another pillar of the music program, injecting his trademark enthusiasm into choir and the middle school bands. Mr. Joshua Hurst, a new UVU graduate who subbed 2nd semester and did a terrific job filling in for Mr. Flinders, will be the new band director at Maple Mountain High School starting Fall 2017.
The Concert Band earned a Superior at Regions, the highest possible rating, qualifying SS to be able to compete at state. The state competitions do not categorize schools by size, so 2A schools are judged by the same criteria as 5A schools. Out of the 40-50 high schools of all categories qualifying to compete in Utah, South Summit usually ranks in the top 20 overall, and usually one of the top small schools. They earned an Excellent rating this year at state, regularly rating Superior or Excellent, proving South Summit to be the small school with big band sound and lots of well-earned respect in the high school band world.
The HS Jazz Band also qualified for state with their Superior rating at Regions and an Excellent rating at state. Under the leadership of Mr. Hurst, the 12 member Percussion Ensemble competed for the first time ever with their piece “Two-Face.” The Drumline and Jazz Band also performed at the South Summit Education Foundation’s Scholarship Awards Gala at the DeJoria Center.
The highlight of the year for many band students is the annual trip to Southern Utah, where they work with college students and directors from Snow College and Southern Utah University and attend a band concert at Dixie State University.
Thank you to our terrific band directors for making our school and our kids the best they can be musically. Students start in 6th grade, being able to choose various combinations of concert, jazz, pep, and summer marching bands, along with percussion and drumline. Studies have shown learning music supports all learning and overall well being. For the students that have been fortunate enough to benefit from the music programs at SSHS, this is an invaluable experience and an intrinsic part of who they are. We can’t thank our band directors and the supportive administration enough for providing these opportunities to our kids.