Check out our amazing international parade participants.
Mill Creek High School Concert Orchestra, under the direction of Ms. Dana Ballard & Ms. Victoria Brown
The Concert Orchestra, from Georgia, USA, is composed of students aged 14-18 from Mill Creek High School who have met after school hours and have dedicated their personal time to learning the music they are going to be performing at the American Cathedral on the 2nd January. They are most proud to be announcing that included in their programme will be a world premiere of a piece called Adoro Te Devote by composer Richard Burchard which he has written specifically for this performance. It is a melody by St. Thomas Aquinas set for a string orchestra. Today the Mill Creek orchestra program consists of 250 students. In recent years, the Mill Creek Orchestra has travelled throughout Europe, and successfully competed in various festivals throughout the United States of America, including in April 2015, they earnt the Festival Disney Gold Award.
Ms. Ballard earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance in cello from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky; a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and received her Teaching Certification and completed coursework for her Ph.D. in Music Education, with a Minor in Special Education, from Louisiana State University.
Prior to moving to Georgia, Ms. Ballard taught in public schools in Louisiana and Kentucky, and founded string programmes in Russellville, Kentucky, and Jasper, Indiana. She has presented workshops and research at regional and national conferences and is active as a clinician for county and regional honours orchestras as well as festivals and workshops.
Her awards in teaching include the Lighthouse Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Kentucky Council for Arts Education C.R.E.A.T.E. Award, finalist for Teacher of the Year at Hull Middle School, Duluth High School Teacher of the Year, Gwinnett County High School Teacher of the Year, and Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Ballard is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association. She is also listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers.
Ms. Brown earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and is currently completing course work towards a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Georgia.
Currently in her third year of teaching, Ms. Brown began her teaching during her undergraduate coursework as a member of the University of Georgia String Project, in which undergraduate students teach string instrument performance to local Athens communities as part of an after-school collaboration. Ms. Brown has performed as a violist in the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra and Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Brown is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association. As a violist and violinist, Ms. Brown performs at weddings and events, as well as film productions through Etude Entertainment in the metro Atlanta area. Ms. Brown is active as a clinician for county and regional honours orchestras as well as workshops.
The Pride of Mill Creek Marching Band, under the direction of Mr. Erik Mason.
Mill Creek school is in Hoschton, Georgia, USA, a small town about 35 miles northeast of Atlanta. The students at Mill Creek actually come from four different towns - Hoschton, Braselton, Dacula, and Buford. The Mill Creek Bands are made up of four concert bands, two jazz bands, two percussion ensembles, three winter guards, an indoor winds group, and The Pride of Mill Creek our 200-member marching band.
The Bands from Mill Creek High School have won many regional and national honours, including being a three-time Bands of America Regional Class AAAA champion, a five-time consecutive Winter Guard International World Championship finalist, and the 2016 WGI Winds Scholastic A Silver Medallist.
This will be their third trip to Europe as a band, having travelled to London in 2010, and then London and Rome in 2014.
Their band mascot is Hawks and to find out more visit www.prideofmillcreek.org or follow them on Facebook @Pride of Mill Creek and Twitter @prideofmillcreekbands
Mr. Erik Mason, Director of Bands
Mr. Mason currently serves as the Band Director at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, Georgia. In his time at Mill Creek the band has grown from 60 members to over 260 and has quickly established a tradition of excellence in all aspects of the band program. Mr. Mason is a three-time recipient of the National Band Association Citation of Excellence.
Ms. Bridget Wildes, Assistant Director of Bands
Ms. Bridget Wildes has served as Assistant Director of Bands at Mill Creek High School since 2013. She is the principal conductor of the Symphonic Bands and oversees the Mill Creek Music Institute. Bridget is a two-time NBA Citation of Excellence recipient.