The Fine Arts department will offer courses in Instrumental music (Orchestra, Band and Music Technology), Visual Arts and Dance. Students will be provided frequent opportunities to perform and compete both locally and across the region.
Fine Arts FAQ
Will Paul Duke STEM High School have a full band and orchestra program? Yes. Fine arts and academics are the priority at Paul Duke STEM High School. We plan to have full programs in these four areas of fine arts - band, orchestra, visual arts, and dance, which will consist of both classes and extracurricular activities.Will Paul Duke STEM High School encourage and support students to participate in band and other fine arts competitions? Our staff will encourage and support students that are looking to advance their skills and distinguish themselves and our school through many band activities including concerts throughout the year, Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE), all-state band, district band, as well as solo and ensemble performances. Since Paul Duke STEM high school will not have a football team, we will not have a marching band.Will the Paul Duke STEM High School fine arts teachers collaborate with feeder middle schools? Yes, the new fine arts teachers will meet with and collaborate actively with the feeder middle school teachers and with the Norcross band teachers. The fine arts teachers in the cluster are extremely collaborative, and the Paul Duke STEM directors and teachers will continue this tradition of excellence.
Meet our Band Director!
Gary Garvin is thrilled to be the Director of Bands at the new Paul Duke STEM High School. Prior to his appointment at Paul Duke, Mr. Garvin served as the Director of Bands at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, Georgia from 2015-2018. During his tenure at Central Gwinnett, he earned superior ratings with his symphonic bands, reintroduced a jazz band to the program, and lead the marching band to a best in class award in competition.
Mr. Garvin is a native of Marietta, Georgia, and is immensely grateful for his band directors Mr. Jody Miller and Mrs. Kristin Starnes at McCleskey Middle School and Mr. David McGrath at Carlton J. Kell High School who fostered his passion for music. Mr. Garvin earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2013 and his Master of Music in Euphonium Performance in 2015 both from the University of Georgia. He studied euphonium with David Zerkel, and was a member of the Wind Ensemble, Brass Band, Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and Redcoat Marching Band at the University of Georgia as well as the Georgia Brass Band based out of Atlanta. In addition to playing in ensembles, Mr. Garvin competed in many solo competitions and military band auditions. Most notably, he was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2012 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Festival in the Artist Division.
Meet our Orchestra Director!
Laura Wood began her orchestra career as a Gwinnett County Public Schools student. After graduating from Collins Hill High School, she pursued her Bachelor Degree in Music Education from Loyola University New Orleans. Mrs. Wood then started a new adventure in her teaching career in Las Vegas (yes, there are schools, churches, families, and communities in Las Vegas!). In 2010, she earned a Masters Degree in Administrative Leadership. However, her first love is teaching strings in the classroom. Mrs. Wood had much success building the orchestra programs at Garside JHS and Western HS in the Clark County School District (CCSD) from 2004 - 2015. Under her leadership, her ensembles consistently scored superior ratings and superlatives at district and regional festivals.
Mrs. Wood proudly served as conductor of Las Vegas Youth Orchestra Ensemble from 2013 - 2016. She also co-founded and conducted the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians (FAYM) orchestra in 2014. In 2015, Mrs. Wood resigned from classroom teaching to become a full-time mom to her four beautiful daughters (Emily, Olivia, Ava, and Adeline). When she is not taking care of her family, Mrs. Wood serves as an active guest conductor, adjudicator, teacher mentor, and private violin instructor.
Laura Smith, Dance (Picture and Bio coming soon!)
Ashley Getz, Visual Arts (Picture and Bio coming soon!)