Southside Maverick Band students are making headlines. Check here often for updated news about the Mav Bands!
Ron Lewis is a retired teacher in Oklahoma, and was the director of the Wind Ensemble at the 9th Grade Academy in Van Buren. Ron has been teaching for 33 years and is a graduate from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He graduated high school from Checotah, Oklahoma. His bands have received many superior ratings and sweepstakes awards. Ron’s Collinsville High School Band won the Worlds of Fun “Festival of Music” contest in 2006, and his middle school band in 2011. The Academy Wind Ensemble won the same contest in 2018. His high school band in McAlester was selected as an OMEA State Honor Band in 1998 and his middle school band in Collinsville in 2011. Ron conducted the Van Buren 9th Academy Wind Ensemble in his first State Honor Band in Arkansas in 2018 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
While in Muldrow, Ron was voted Teacher of the Year for 1993. In Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, Ron is an active adjudicator, honor band conductor and clinician. He has judged over 100 Marching and Concert band contests over the years. Ron is a member of ASBOA Region 8, OMEA, OMMAA, ABA, OBA, JEN, and Phi Beta Mu. Ron is a Past-President of OBA (2004-2005). Ron also served as the OMEA All-State Band Chair for 2009-2010. Ron’s hobbies include gigging on trumpet and playing golf.
Ron’s wife, Gina, is the former colorguard instructor/coordinator in Van Buren as well as previously in Oklahoma. She is currently the AP Computer Science teacher at Southside High School. His son, Saxon, is the Music Director at the School of Rock in Frisco, Texas and is a freelance musician in the Dallas area. His daughter, Kelci, is Team Coach and Office Assistant at Williams Center Dance and Gymnastics in Fayetteville.
After 26 years of teaching, Sean Carrier announces his retirement. Before the world was turned upside down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sean Carrier, band director of Southside Bands announced that he will be passing the baton on to the next conductor after the school year. Ron Lewis from Van Buren will be taking the helm as Carrier pursues other interests. All of us at Southside and the Fort Smith Public Schools wish Mr. Carrier all the best in the next chapter of his life.
Southside Bands had their Band Parent Appreciation concert Thursday, February 13, 2020. All three bands performed three selections and then had an opportunity to work with a another band director in preparation for Concert Assessment coming up in March. Julius Stevens, former Chaffin director and current Springdale High School band director, worked with the Concert band. John Combs, former Ramsey director, worked with the Symphonic band. And Dale Warren, band director at the University of Arkansas, worked with the Wind Symphony. All three bands did a fantastic job.
Concert assessments for the Concert Band and Symphonic Band will be March 3, 2020, and the Wind Symphony will have its concert assessment on March 4, 2020. All concert assessment performances will be at the Van Buren Fine Arts Center. Times are TBD.
In addition to the performances by the Southside Bands, Melissa Udouj was inducted into the Southside Band Ring of Honor. She was introduced by her daughter, Isabella Udouj, former Southside band alum and current feature twirler for the University of Arkansas Marching band.
The Southside Wind Symphony and chamber ensembles were invited to perform at The 73rd Midwest Clinic, International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago, IL in December. The band was a demonstration band for a clinic session on Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Several of Southside's chamber ensembles performed on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at a separate session. We are very proud of all the hard work that these kids and the instructors have done in preparation of performing at such an amazing event. #BeMoreMaverick
While in Chicago, the students, instructors, and chaperones were able to have a little fun as well. They were able to catch a performance of the Broadway musical, Hamilton, visit the Christkindlmarket market at the Daley Plaza, tour the Navy Pier, and watch the last movie of the Star Wars Saga, The Rise of Skywalker.
During the weekend of February 7-8, 2020, several students of the Maverick band, having qualified to audition for All-State (by making high enough chair placement at All-Region), traveled to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia to compete against the state's best musicians for a coveted seat in the All-State bands, orchestra, jazz bands, and choirs. Below are a list of the Mav Band students who placed in one or more of the All-State ensembles.