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December, 21, 2017
03:00 PM - 03:45 PM


Skyline Ballroom W375AB




Matt Koperniak



Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

The Riverwatch Middle School Band Program currently serves over 650 students in grades 6-8. All band classes meet daily for 53 minutes. Students join beginning band in sixth grade, separated into brass and woodwind classes. In seventh and eighth grades, students are divided into four different concert ensembles. The Symphonic Band is the top ensemble at Riverwatch Middle School, and contains both seventh and eighth grade students. The Riverwatch Band Program is the 2016 middle school recipient of the National Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon award presented by the National Band Association. Previously, the band program received the Exemplary Program Award from the Georgia Music Educators Association on two occasions. Students throughout the band program regularly participate in GMEA-sponsored events, including District Honor Band, All-State Band, and Solo & Ensemble. The Riverwatch Symphonic Band has been a featured performer at the "Music for All" National Concert Festival, National Band Association/College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference, Southeastern United States Band Clinic at Troy University, University of Alabama Middle School Honor Band, University of Georgia Middle School Festival, and the Southeastern Regional Concert Festival at Georgia State University. In 2015, the Riverwatch Symphonic Band was the first middle school band ever featured on "Strike up the Band" on National Public Radio's WABE 90.1.

Riverwatch Middle School Symphonic Band

Conductor's Bio

Matt Koperniak is Director of Bands at Riverwatch Middle School in Suwanee, Georgia. Under his direction since 2008, he has expanded the band program from 130 students to over 650. Prior to his arrival at Riverwatch, he taught at Norcross High School and Jefferson High School. Dr. Koperniak is currently the State Band Chair for the Georgia Music Educators Association. He serves Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia as National Executive Committeeman-at-Large and Chair of the Commission on Standards, and received the national Volunteer of the Year award in 2013. He has been published in Music Educators Journal, International Trombone Association Journal, and Tempo! (New Jersey MEA magazine), and he has presented music education research at the NAfME national research conference, University of Illinois, and Gettysburg College. Dr. Koperniak was the 2012 Teacher of the Year for Riverwatch Middle School, and he was elected to membership in Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in 2014.