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Stratford Bands 3 'SUPERIOR with Distinction' ratings in 2017


NEWS!!! This year has been wonderful for both the students in the Stratford
Band Program and myself. Yesterday marked the end of our Concert Festival
season and WOW has it been amazing! This season our schedule consisted of the
SCBDA Jazz Festival at Newberry College and the SCBDA State Concert Performance
Assessment (CPA) at West Ashley HS. Each event is judged on a scale of 1 to 5,
with 1 being SUPERIOR and 5 being POOR. Once all of the judges’ scores are combined,
the band’s overall rating is determined. If a band receives 1’s in all areas,
it is considered “with Distinction.

Jazz Festival, the Stratford Jazz Band received a I-SUPERIOR with Distinction
receiving 15/15 points for their performance. This is the second year in a row
we have accomplished this feat and I could not be more proud at how these
students came together

morning of the state CPA the Stratford Concert Band of 99 students came
together for their first rehearsal. As we put the final touches on our repertoire,
we showed that our rehearsal efforts had paid off. After filling the stage from
wall to wall, we began playing with what would be one of the strongest
performances I have experienced as an educator. The Stratford Concert Band
entered in Class V and received a I-SUPERIOR with Distinction receiving 25/25
points for their performance. These were by far the most complimentary judges’
comments I have EVER received. “Beautiful”, “Attention to detail”, “Musically
satisfying”, “Fine Players-Great Instruction”, “Great precision and
expression.” One judge even went as far to say that the performance of
“Salvation is Created” was one of the best he had ever experienced. It was
simply a day overflowing with positivity and reaffirmation!

final performance slot of the final day of CPA was reserved for the Stratford
Wind Orchestra (SWO). This is our top group consisting of 44 students designed
to take on some of the toughest literature for wind band. Most schools that
have an ensemble like this have it meet daily as part of their scheduled
classes having roughly 50 class periods to prepare. The SWO meets for 90
minutes once a week after school and has 12 rehearsals. There are no classes,
no grades, and only exists because students have joined in my shared vision of
having a group of this caliber. This year we programmed Edward Elgar’s “Enigma
Variations.” Rated as a Class VI-Masterwork only three other high school bands
attempted this level of literature this year in SC. As we took the stage to
close out the entire assessment, the audience was full of parents, fellow directors,
and students from other programs. Who knew there would be so many wanting to
witness Stratford attempt Elgar’s masterpiece. As they announced us, we felt ready
and began the highest-level program any of us had ever endeavored. From the
downbeat to final note, my heart was beating out of my chest, not because of
nerves, but because of the thrill of making music. We had been waiting so long
to share our hard work with the world and having that interaction of guiding my
students through this work was an absolute rush! The final note rang out and
the crowd gave us a lengthy ovation truly worthy of the Enigma Variations. As
we came off stage, the amount of congratulations and positivity was
overwhelming. As we waited for our results, we all shared in the sense of
accomplishment that only a musical performance can give.  “I-SUPERIOR with Distinction for the
Stratford Wind Orchestra!” Students cheered, faces of disbelief turned into
ones of joy, and a huge group hug ensued. With tears in my eyes, I thanked them
for “making one of my life-long dreams come true….one of our dreams come true.”

I said this has been an amazing time for all of us in the Stratford Band. With
the success of the marching band this past fall, the consistent rise of the
jazz band, and the exceptional level of music being made in our concert
ensembles the Band Room is truly a place where young people work together
towards excellence. I write to you to not only to share this proud moment but
because I want to see if our successes can help advocate my colleagues and
their efforts and show how meaningful the Fine Arts are. By sharing with you, I
hope that these accomplishments by the Stratford Band Program can reinforce the
place of the arts in our student’s education.

From the proudest Band Director in BCSD,
possibly in all of South Carolina,

B. Smith,

M.M.E University of Illinois
University of South Carolina

of Bands

High School

  • Stratford Concert Band-Class V



    by C.E. Duble

    Salvation is Created by Pavel Tschenokov

    Prelude, Siciliano, and Rondo by Malcolm



    1-I Superior

    Judge 2- I Superior

    Judge 3- I Superior

    Reading Judge 1- I Superior

    Reading Judge 2- I Superior


    25/25 Points



    Stratford Wind Orchestra-Class VI Masterworks



    March April May by Masao Yabe

    Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar



    1-I Superior

    Judge 2- I Superior

    Judge 3- I Superior

    Sight Reading Judge 1- I Superior

    Reading Judge 2- I Superior




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