Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School band beginning to thrive thanks to community support
SOCIETY HILL, S.C. – Students at Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School now have their own band program thanks to a passion for music education and vital support from many in Society Hill.
After many years without a band, Principal Kim Mason and music teacher Chloe Spitzer pulled some strings and restarted the program last year. From 10 members to the mighty sound of 40, the band is beginning to flourish with an accompaniment of support from the community.
“I am more pleased than words can say about the growth of our band program,” Mason said. “The children are developing as musicians, and some may even find their career paths in this extracurricular activity. The research is clear that students involved in extracurricular activities such as band have higher academic performance. They are also developing those soft skills of collaboration, teamwork and sensitivity to others.”
Just recently the Lions Club of Society Hill made a significant contribution to the program, and the Lions Club of Darlington has also pledged support. Funderburk Insurance Company and local citizen Leon Johnson have given to the band. The school has taken advantage of DonorsChoose.org to raise money, and other local band programs are loaning instruments until Rosenwald can purchase more. Due to budget constraints, district funding for middle school band programs is limited to instrument repairs.
“It’s been a tough journey to get all the materials we need, but with the help of Ms. Mason, the Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School faculty and staff, the Society Hill community, various local band directors and civic groups, we are steadily progressing,” Spitzer said. “Already five of our students were able to audition and participate in the Darlington High School Marching Falcons band as drum line members or band managers.”
Members of the band program attended the most recent Class 5A State Marching Band Competition in Irmo, and others hope to participate in the Darlington County School District’s All-County Band.
The students meet regularly after school and are still in need of music stands and various instruments to replace those being loaned from other band programs, especially saxophones and trombones.
“The students are held responsible for bringing their materials, practicing outside of school, supporting their team members, and keeping in check their behavior and grades in and out of the band class,” Spitzer said. “My goal when creating the band was to never have to turn a child away because of inability to pay for an instrument. And so far, we’ve met our goal.”
For more information about the Rosenwald Elementary/Middle School band, please contact the Darlington County School District Office of Communications at 843-398-2284.