The Singleton-Miller Orchestra Project is a five-year effort to provide start-up funding and support for stringed music in the middle schools and high schools of Aiken County. The project is based on a successful pilot program at Schofield Middle School. With support of Public Education Partners, the commitment of the school?s principal and the talents of a gifted faculty member, the school grew a small after-school program into five regular classes offering beginning, middle and advanced instruction to more than one hundred students a year. The students, most of whom had no prior musical experience, have gone on to play in the Aiken Youth Orchestra and to compete at the state level.
The goal is to establish strong, sustainable stringed music programs in the middle schools and to provide transition funding to high schools to allow them to expand their existing curricula to include orchestra. The arts are an extremely effective learning tool, enhancing math performance, self-discipline, teamwork, responsibility, and a commitment to excellence. Students who participate in the arts score higher on the SAT. They frequently express greater satisfaction and engagement in their school experience overall.
SMOP was established by RCS Corporation of Aiken, South Carolina to honor Ms. Theresa B. Singleton and Mr. Ridgely E. Miller, employees of the South Carolina Small Business Administration, for outstanding service to the citizens and businesses of South Carolina.
Theresa B. Singleton
Ridgely E. Miller
Want to sponsor an instrument? Click here to review our instrument and supply needs.
The Third Annual All-County Orchestra Festival
On March 21, 2011 one hundred thirty middle and high school students participated in a day-long clinic at the USC-A Etherredge Center. At the end of a long day of work under the direction of four clinicians, three orchestras performed for the public. We are grateful for our partnership with USC-Aiken and we are looking forward to next year's festival. Here are a few pictures from the day.
Which schools have strings programs?
Middle Schools: Schofield, North Augusta, Paul Knox, LBC, and A. L. Corbett
High Schools: Aiken High, Midland Valley High
How many students are involved?
2011-2012 School Year: 250
When I can I hear the orchestras?
The 2012 All County Orchestra Festival is scheduled for March 30, 2012. The sixth grade concert is at 4pm and the junior and senior orchestras will perform at 6pm. The concerts are free and open to the public.
In addition to the annual All-County Festival, you may attend concerts at any of the schools listed above. Just call the main office and ask for the dates and times of performances. The orchestras are also performing all over their communities - the Wagener Tree Lighting, the Aiken County Retiring Teachers' Banquet, Hopeland Gardens, and even playing for patrons of the Augusta Symphony Concert at the Etherredge Center and at several venues in North Augusta.
How can I help?
You can sponsor an instrument (click on link above to choose, then use the "donate now" button on our hompage to give online.
Or if you wish to provide general support as we grow this program, your gift of any size will be welcome. Public Education Partners is always looking for grant opportunities. If you know of any organization or foundation to whom we may apply, please contact us! PEP also provides support to the strings teachers by encouraging a network of colleagues. We do this by hosting meetings of the strings teachers as well as building collaborations to other supportive organizations like Juilliard in Aiken and the Aiken Center for the Arts.
Many Thanks to the Orchestra Projects supporting Partners
The Community foundation for the CSRA
City of North Augusta
Publix Super MArket Charities