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.