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Alvin Wilbanks: Showcasing Students” Talents

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by J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent,
Gwinnett County Public Schools

J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools
J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent, Gwinnett County Public Schools

Fall brings numerous opportunities to showcase the talents of Gwinnett County Public Schools” students. Football games and other fall sports, where students take the spotlight with their athleticism and competitive spirits, immediately come to mind. What should not be overlooked, however, is the array of activities that shine the spotlight on their fine arts talents as well.

As for those football games…Gwinnett”s outstanding marching bands add tremendously to the excitement on the field and in the stands. Regarded as some of the best bands in the Southeast, Gwinnett”s marching musicians are assisted by dance teams and “guards” comprised of student performers twirling flags, rifles, and sabers. Together they present halftime shows that are impressive exhibitions of music, marching, and more.

Off the gridiron, Gwinnett students excel in top-notch school theatrical productions and local or state “One-Act Play” competitions. Our schools” dance programs and band, orchestra, and chorus concerts also continually draw rave reviews from audiences awed by the high caliber of these performances.

Many Gwinnett groups attract outside attention and recognition from professionals who invite our student musicians, singers, actors, and dancers to share their talents at major conferences and festivals in Georgia and across the nation. For instance, Duluth High School”s Chamber Orchestra performed at Lincoln Center in New York City last spring after taking first place at the National Band and Orchestra Festival.

Not to be outdone by their peers in the performing arts, our visual arts students also take advantage of every opportunity to display their craft each fall. Gwinnett students” artwork is featured prominently in local competitions and exhibitions, and at local school events showcasing our talented artists of all ages.

Heading into the holiday season, Gwinnett residents will have many opportunities to see firsthand the amazing work of our students. Concerts by the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony and the Kendall Honors Orchestra will leave you speechless. School choral and instrumental programs celebrating the sounds of the season will have you humming your favorite carols or holiday tunes, and you will marvel at the artwork exhibited and the theatricality displayed on school stages across the county.

So give yourself a treat in late 2013…attend a football game, a play, a concert, or an exhibit and see why we say the fine arts are education “basics” in Gwinnett County Public Schools and in Gwinnett County, named one of the best communities for music education in America.*

*Designation by the National Association of Music Merchants