The Band Program at Alton C. Crews Middle School has gained a statewide reputation for excellence in our first 20 years. The Concert Bands and Jazz Band have achieved superior and excellent ratings at District Performance Evaluations and the Concert Bands have performed for Magic Music Days at Walt Disney World on nine occasions. The Eighth Grade Band has also performed as part of the Music Educators Leadership Institute at Georgia State University for a Festival of Music by Pulitzer Prize winning composer Michael Colgrass and the 17th and 21st Annual University of Georgia Middle School Festival. In 2012 the band program received the GMEA Exemplary Performance Award. Band students from Crews have received numerous honors including All-State Band membership, District Band membership as well as invitations and scholarships to summer music camps. Graduates from the ACCMS bands move on to become members of the highly regarded and award winning Brookwood High School Bronco Marching and Concert Bands.
Band begins in the sixth grade. Students who are remotely interested in playing a musical instrument are encouraged to take this class. Students are then exposed to basic music notation and reading, as well as trying out on as many instruments as possible to find just the right one. Band is an academic/performance class with a spiral curriculum that begins in sixth grade and continues throughout high school. Sixth grade classes are divided into brass and woodwind families. Seventh grade bands are divided into two fully instrumented groups and continue building on the foundation established in beginning band. Eighth grade bands are more performance-oriented while continuing to develop, and refine basic musical concepts. Band students are given many opportunities for musical growth through small ensemble participation, District and All-State Band auditions, Percussion Ensemble and a Jazz Band. Students are also strongly encouraged to take private lessons on their chosen instrument.
Degrees and Certifications:
Amanda Bingham is in her 16th year of teaching band. She is in her 11th year at ACCMS. She previously was the Director of Bands at Radloff Middle School in Duluth. Mrs. Bingham, a graduate of Brookwood High School, received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Columbus State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude as a member of the Honors Program. She received the Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Instrumental Music Education Award and was on the CSU Dean’s List and the national Dean’s List every semester while at Columbus State. Amanda also holds a Master’s Degree in Music Education from The University of Georgia where she graduated with a 4.0 GPA. She has been recognized by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and Who’s Who Among American Women. Mrs. Bingham is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, Music Educators National Conference and The Professional Association of Georgia Educators. In 2011 she received the National Band Association Citation of Excellence. In addition to her band responsibilities, she has also served as the Connections Department Chair and a member of the Curriculum Leadership Team for the last 5 years. In her spare time, she enjoys sports photography for the Atlanta Gladiators professional hockey team and she currently plays in adult ice hockey leagues.
Degrees and Certifications:
Wesley Brooks is in his 12th year teaching and fifth year as a director of the Alton C. Crews Middle School Band. Before teaching at Crews, Mr. Brooks served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Woodland High School for six years. At Woodland, he served as the principal conductor of the Symphonic Band and assisted with the Wind Symphony, Concert Band, Jazz Band, and all aspects of the marching band. Mr. Brooks also spent a year as the Assistant Band Director at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia where he assisted in all aspects of the band program. Mr. Brooks received his Master of Education degree from Auburn University and his Bachelor of Music Education from The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. While at UGA, Mr. Brooks studied clarinet with Dr. D. Ray McClellan and performed with the UGA Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. John Culvahouse and Dr. John Lynch. Also, while at UGA, Mr. Brooks was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band and served on the executive board of the Kappa Mu chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi. Originally from Snellville, Georgia, Mr. Brooks attended Crews Middle School and graduated from Brookwood High School. During High School, Mr. Brooks served as drum major for the marching band. Mr. Brooks’s professional affiliations include the NBA, NAfME, GMEA, and Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity.