The Crews Middle School Orchestra currently has over 300 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students enrolled in the program and is continuing to grow each year. Under the direction of Dr. Kinsey Edwards and Mrs. Suzanne Pearson, the Crews Middle School Orchestra program has consistently earned superior ratings at Georgia Music Educator Association (GMEA) sponsored adjudicated events such as Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE) and Solo and Ensemble. Each year, the orchestra program has students who represent Crews Middle School at GMEA All State Orchestra, as well as many students who audition and are accepted to participate in the Gwinnett County Honor orchestras: the Kendall Youth Orchestra and the Gwinnett County Youth Symphony. In addition to the six grade-level orchestras that meet during the school day and perform on a regular basis, Crews Middle School also has an Honors Orchestra group that meets weekly and performs at various school and community events.
Dr. Edwards attained her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Music Education, from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She earned her Masters of Music Education and Educational Doctorate from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. She is a Teachers as Leaders alumna and a two-time Gwinnett County top 25 Semi-finalist Teacher of the Year. Dr. Edwards currently serves as the PBIS Coach at Crews Middle School. Mrs. Pearson attained her undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Music Education, from Kennesaw State University. She earned her Masters of Music Education from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Mrs. Pearson served on the International Baccalaureate Team, the Gwinnett County Assessment Leadership Team, and is the current Connections Department Chair at Crews Middle School. Dr. Edwards and Mrs. Pearson are both Gwinnett County Public Schools alumni and have been teaching together for a total of seven years, four of which have been at Crews Middle School.
Dr. Edwards and Mrs. Pearson are passionate about sharing their positivity and love of music with the Crews Middle School students, parents, staff, and community members. Even in this digital age, the Crews Middle School Orchestra hosted drive through instrument petting zoos, BOW-tober in celebration of the first month with bows, performances at the community Culver’s, the posting of yard signs in new members’ front yards, digital living room concerts on Zoom, and a digital living room student composition showcase on Zoom. The Crews Orchestra aims to help students feel connected, happy, excited, motivated to learn, successful, and valued during what has been perhaps the most difficult time of their educational experience. Dr. Edwards and Mrs. Pearson celebrate Monday Musical Memes, Tuesday Tuning, Wacky Wednesday Musical Exercises, Throwback Thursday, and Fun Song Fridays with their students each week in order to teach and reinforce important musical concepts while fostering a love of learning music and sense of community for all students.