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December, 19, 2024
08:30 AM - 09:30 AM




Louise Smith

Louise Smith

Jennifer Sills

Jennifer Sills

Filling in the Gap: Mastering the Second Year of Band

Clinic Synopsis:

What should happen after the 1st year of band? Developing music literacy and thinking skills are imperative to the success of a band student. In addition, understanding the motivation and mental health of a second year student will help you build success in your band program. Practical techniques to improve your second year of band will be presented and discussed.

Louise Smith - Biographical Information

Louise Smith is currently in her twenty second year as band director for Gautier Middle School in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Under her leadership, Mrs. Smith’s bands consistently earn superior ratings in concert and sight reading, and her students frequently achieve placements in honor and all state bands. Mrs. Smith attended the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned her Bachelor of Music Education in 2002 and her Master of Education in 2005. In 2012, she achieved the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification in Music. Mrs. Smith is a Teacher Leadership Initiative alumnus and has served as a state coach for the program. In addition, she has worked on several national initiatives such as National Boards Jump Start Initiative, Teacher Leadership Initiative Redesign, and served on the Standards Setting and Content Validation committee for NBPTS. In August, 2020 NEA Today featured Mrs. Smith in the cover article “Helping Students and Educators Recover from Covid-19 Trauma” and U.S. News and World Report named her one of the “Twenty Professionals Who Made a Difference During the Pandemic.” Recently, Mrs. Smith was recognized as the 2023 Mississippi Teacher of the Year and has been named a 2024 Horace Mann Award winner by the NEA Foundation. In her spare time, Mrs. Smith continues to perform and is an active member of several associations including American School Band Directors Association and Phi Beta Mu.

Jennifer Sills - Biographical Information

Jennifer Sills is in her 26th year of teaching band in Mississippi. She is currently in her 10th year with the Madison County School District where she serves as Assistant Band Director at Madison Central High School. Ms. Sills conducts the Concert Band, teaches beginner saxophone and double reed classes and helps with all aspects of the band program at the middle school and high school levels. Ms. Sills received her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Delta State University and her Masters and Specialist of Instructional Leadership from William Carey University. She is also a National Board-Certified teacher. Ms. Sills is a member of the Mississippi Bandmasters’ Association, American School Band Directors Association, East Central Mississippi Band Directors’ Association and Phi Beta Mu. Ms. Sills was Concert Director for the MS Lions All-State Band in 2018 and has served as a staff member for the Lions Band in 1999 and 2019. She has served as guest clinician throughout the state of MS and has consistently produced Superior bands throughout her career. She has an active private studio and is a National Board mentor for the Madison County School District. Ms. Sills also serves as a member of the State Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Council. She is the proud mother of twins, Kaitlyn and Peyton, who are both educators as well.