From the desk of the director of bands

End of the Year Parent Letter


Greetings Parent of South Gwinnett Musicians, 

I would first like to congratulate our rising 9th graders and our graduating Class of 2019 on a successful academic journey. I wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors. As we close another school year marching band season is right around the corner. Here are a few need to know items as we gear up for summer rehearsal heading into next school year. 

Private Instruction/Summer Band Camps

In the month of June I encourage every parent to put their student musician in some sort of band instruction. Our musical skills are not in comparison to the cliché of riding a bike. When a trumpet player stops playing for even a week there is a significant loss in playing ability. All our musicians need to stay active on their instrument throughout the summer. 

There are several music stores in the area that will provide music lessons for a reasonable cost. Music & Arts located at 1905 Scenic Highway in Snellville, has a private instructor for every instrument in the band from flute to percussion. Also in the area, Ken Stanton Music located at 5236 Stone Mtn Highway in Stone Mountain also provides a wide range of options for private instruction. Private instruction is much different from tutoring in other subjects. We often think of tutoring as a way to catch students up, however private instrumental instruction allows students an opportunity to get ahead of the group. Students benefit tremendously from working with someone who plays their instrument and can speak to specific challenges the student will face on their instrument.

I will also advocate for music camps throughout the summer. This provides the students with a bunch of unique opportunities to work alongside students from diverse backgrounds, make comparisons and be competitive musically, and in many cases work with college level professors on a collegiate campus. Most universities across the country have some sort of summer music camp offered to high school/middle school students. Here in Atlanta on Morehouse’s campus, students can take part in Precision Camp. To find registration information visit Additionally Florida A&M, Tennessee State University, University of Georgia, Kennesaw State, Jackson State University, Southern University, and Georgia State all offer music camps throughout the summer. You can find more information by visiting the school’s website. Let’s keep our students active throughout the month of June. 

South Gwinnett Band Camp

South Gwinnett Band Camp will take place on July 15th -26th for all musicians planning on marching this upcoming school year. The camp will run from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday in the South Gwinnett High School band room. Percussionist will start a week earlier, July 8th -12th from 3 pm to 6:30 pm. These camps are essential to the start of a good marching band season. Students not in attendance at these camps will sit out the first two field shows to ensure they have a proper grasp of the material. We need every student in attendance to ensure the best season possible! 

Band Dues

Band dues this season will be $300. Band dues will NOT be collected through mypaymentsplus through the school’s website but can be paid by going to the band’s website, . There you will find an option to pay in monthly installments of $75 or you can also pay in full at any time. Dues must be paid in full by September 13th, 2019 to receive a uniform. At the close of the week, you will also be able to find a sponsorship letter each student can use to solicit funds from family, friends, businesses, or any other persons wanting to donate to that student. Coming from a single parent home, I certainly understand the obstacles that can come from having an active student. Now in the position of band director I have an understanding of the financial commitment it takes to run a band program. Let us work together to ensure we provide all our students with the most opportunities possible that will benefit their future. Timely payment of dues ensures that we can plan appropriately for the season and do not have to cancel or limit the number of experiences our students receive. On the band’s website, you can also find a budget breakdown of band dues.  We only accept cash, money orders or credit cards. No Checks.

I look forward to this upcoming season being a SUPERIOR one! The students have already received my end of the year motivational speeches and I look forward to their continued work in the upcoming school year. Parents, we cannot do this without your support and I look forward to having a strong parent force this upcoming season. If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at . Please sign up for the band newsletter to stay up to date on the latest band information. 

Congratulations again to our $2 million Class of 2019 and thanks for the continued support of your student musicians and the band program. 

Musically Yours, 

Marquell Oates

Director of Bands

South Gwinnett High School