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Jason Rapp

Fairfield Central High’s ‘Theater Tech Team (T3)’ brings home title

Midlands school earns National Federation of High Schools award


The South Carolina High School League announced that its candidate for the 2020 NFHS Heart of the Arts Award, the Fairfield Central High T3 (Theatre Tech Team), has been selected by the NFHS Heart of the Arts Selection Committee to receive the NFHS Section 3 Heart of the Arts Award.

SCHSL Commissioner Jerome Singleton states, “To say we are pleasantly surprised with yet another NFHS award is putting it mildly. We have had a banner year as far as national recognitions and, this being only our second arts centered nomination and winning the Section 3 title, it puts a bright light on a somewhat somber end to 2019-20 school year. We are truly proud of the Fairfield Central High students for their work on the T3 projects, especially a production as moving as A Pony and His Boy.”

Although the SCHSL is not an activities association, all states are encouraged to nominate their state’s best arts activities and projects. Last year, South Carolina won the national title with Beaufort High School’s theater club. There are only eight section award winners in the country each year.

"I am already so proud of the students, so to learn that their accomplishments were appreciated outside of the district was truly heartwarming. For the past three years these students have come together from such a variety of backgrounds and interests, from athletes to STEM Cohort members, from G&T Artistic identifications to students with special needs, they've worked as a team to bring important stories to the forefront in our community, and they’ve done it together," Fairfield County School District Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts Julianne Neal said. "Not only do they collaborate because they need to do that for a project, they truly care about one another and the stories that they are telling. As each of them moves toward graduation, whether they continue in an arts-based career or plan to enjoy the arts as a hobby or past-time, through the T3 program they know that their creativity and focus on important issues can make a difference in the world. I’m so very proud of every one of them."
Top photo by Ylanite Koppens from Pexels
Secondary photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Midlands band wins GRAMMY Community Award

Fairfield County School District is an Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC Project) site. From WLTX Winnsboro, SC (WLTX) -- The Fairfield Central band will not be in Los Angeles for the GRAMMY Awards, but they already won big thanks to the GRAMMY Foundation. Ferdinand Cooper is the band director at Fairfield Central he said, "My father was a band director for 35 years here in South Carolina." "I kind of grew up with it, so it has been a part of life for me ever since I was born basically," said Cooper. He has been at the Fairfield County school for three years. Cooper said, "It is an opportunity for me to take something I love to do and to share it with my students." That love for music is rubbing off on his students too. Sophomore Rebecca Campbell-Hefner said, "It is a really good influence and the band members are like family, so you really have a good support system." "People say band is hard, but it is really not. You've just got to put determination to it and be committed," according to freshman Harrison Kennedy. That commitment from the band members and Cooper paid off in January. The GRAMMY Foundation and the Hot Topic Foundation gave the school $2000 to help the school's band program. Cooper said, "I was kind of shocked actually. I have been doing this for 16 years and this is the first time I have had an opportunity to get an award like this. It was just kind of amazing. I was so thankful to the GRAMMY Foundation for choosing Fairfield Central." Now more students are picking to play in the band, a good problem for Cooper to have. He said, "We are getting more students than we have equipment to actually put them on, so this $2000 can actually help more students to join the band." According to Cooper, "It will go a long way to help us in continuing the great tradition that we have here." The GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Signature Schools Community Award gives financial support to local high school music education programs. Nearly $1.4 million in grants have been given to close to 700 schools in all 50 states.