The Value of Music
Music at South Lakes High School
South Lakes High School, opened in 1977, has over three decades of musical excellence experience. The band program has captured and continues to capture superior ratings and first place finishes at events across the United States.
South Lakes High School was the first school in Fairfax County to receive the prestigious Sudler Flag of Honor. The Sudler Flag, earned under the direction of Brad Draeger, recognizes high school band programs for outstanding work in jazz, concert and marching band. Approximately 100 bands have earned this award across the United States. Mr. Draeger’s national performances include the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago and the MENC National Conference in Los Angeles.
Since 1999, the band has been under the direction of Grayson Fore. In his first year at South Lakes Mr. Fore reestablished the jazz program and instituted small ensembles. In his second year he reestablished the flag corps and brought the Marching Seahawks back to competitive marching. Since 2000, the Marching Seahawks have captured numerous awards in local marching band competitions including the 2006 USSBA Virginia State Championship and they were a BOA Regional Finalist at the North Huntingdon Regional in 2011. The concert bands have been very active in earning district, regional, All-State and national honors.
SLHS Band National Recognition:
The South Lakes band students and staff wouldn’t be as successful as they are today without the help and support from Principal Kim Retzer, the South Lakes faculty and administration, parents, and Band Boosters.
The Band Boosters conduct fundraising to meet the needs of the band program and countless hours of volunteer support ranging from uniform maintenance, providing refreshments and logistical support moving the band.
The Band Is Part of The Community
The South Lakes Band is active in the Reston community with
performances and events throughout the area, including:
• Home football game halftime performances
• Homecoming parade
• Marching band competitions
• Reston Holiday Parade at Thanksgiving
• SLHS Graduation
• Performances at local elementary schools
• Instrument demonstration for 4th-6th grade students
• Participation in pit orchestra for the spring musical
• Winter and spring concerts
• Jazz band performances
• Fundraising events such as Tag Day and Citrus Sale
The South Lakes band sponsors the Reston Area Honor Band which is a group of fifth and sixth grade students from the elementary schools in the South Lakes Pyramid. This honors group meets on Monday afternoons in the SLHS band room. SLHS band members help mentor younger students and work to create positive bonds between the elementary and high school levels.
In the fall of each year the South Lakes band conducts its annual citrus sale and during this sale the band solicits donations of fruit for the Embry Rucker Shelter.
The Spirit of Reston Marching Band performs annually at the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade. When invited, band members occasionally perform at local events such as Founder's Day, the Reston Swim Team Association Individual Medley meet, and the Chamber of Commerce Holiday Party.