North Augusta, S.C. (WJBF) - Not a bad way to start the school day. Beautiful music bright and early at Fox Creek High School.
"We are in the Jazz Band Class, our first-ever jazz band class here. We're performing Birdland, getting prepared for our Fall season."
Chris Martinez makes sure his musicians are ready for success here at school and when they leave campus.
"We have 2 big concerts, the Christmas Concert and the Spring Concert.," Martinez says. "We're pretty active in our community with our veterans program as well as a couple of other smaller-type gigs that we go out to."
Mr. Martinez loves to play the trumpet. He first picked one up 20-years ago and says it gave him a sense of peace. Now he's passing that peace on to his students.
"I think the spotlight on them throughout the 4 years that they're in Band and Music gives them an opportunity to express themselves with feeling and emotion. But also just to prepare them for other opportunities like interviews, knowing and introducing themselves to other members, and having an opportunity to express themselves versus any other subject."
So what's the goal after they graduate? Will they be music stars on stages around the world?
"They're already superstars in my book. For the most part, as long as they get out into the community, and give somebody that opportunity that somebody gave me. Whether it's teaching, whether it's still playing the horn 20-years from now, having that opportunity to continue with music."
An opportunity afforded by the love and dedication of Chris Martinez. Doing a job that brings him such rich rewards year after year.
"I think it's a sigh of relief that these kids are going into the community in good standing," he says. "I think that's big for me, knowing that they're going to be okay, knowing what we've taught them. Not only musically, but just for life."
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