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Seton Instrumental Music Program Flourishes Under Dr. Tatum's Leadership
Seton Instrumental Music Program Flourishes Under Dr. Tatum's Leadership

Through his leadership, Dr. Brad Tatum, current Band and Orchestra teacher at Elizabeth Seton High School, has contributed to the dramatic musical impact of Seton's music program throughout our own student population and beyond in the Prince George's community, as well. Whether through providing students with a musical outlet, acquiring skills to become better musicians, or encouraging a lifelong love of music, Seton's instrumental music program has done all of the above this past year.

Our instrumental music program has reached beyond just our own students. This past summer, Seton hosted two musical camps, the first designed for our local middle school population, which offered students a low-cost, one-week intensive band camp, reaching students from at least fifteen different schools! These students enjoyed an amazing concert experience with the opportunity to play in a concert band and junk percussion ensemble. Additionally, Seton offered the first annual DC Horn Choir Camp, which brought together local hornists aged fifteen through seventy-five to create a large horn ensemble. These students learned together side-by-side for a week, which allowed high school students the chance to see that music making can be a lifelong joy, even if you don't make it a career. Both of these camps will be offered again this summer at the end of June. Check our website in the beginning of the New Year for further details.

On a daily basis, our students at Seton learn to be fluent musical readers, develop lifelong skills, learn to work in a community toward a common goal and enjoy the recreation of joyful music making. Seton's musicians sight read new music every day and develop skills that produce more fluent and capable music making. In addition, they come together to create beautiful music that was initially beyond their ability level. All of this teaches the value of hard work, and how diligent, gradual practice produces amazing results. Along the way, our music students form a strong bond; students in a successful musical ensemble become a family who cares about the success and well-being of the whole group.

All Seton music students attend a competition and sightseeing event in Charleston, SC in March. Our Wind Ensemble and Concert Band performs at the Washington Archdiocesan Music Teachers Council band festival held at Our Lady of Good Counsel in December. The Orchestra and both Bands will also perform in the Prince Georges County Band and Orchestra Festival in March. Last year, Seton received Superior ratings at both festivals and twenty-five students received Superior Ratings at the Prince Georges County Solo and Ensemble Festival.

After school, Dr. Tatum maintains one of the largest private horn studios in the DC/MD area. He performs regularly as Principal Baroque Hornist with the Washington Bach Consort, Second Natural Horn with the Bach Sinfonia, hornist with the Saturday Morning Brass Project, Worship Orchestra of Washington and his chamber ensemble Opus 40. As an orchestral soloist, he has been heard with the Washington Bach Consort and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. He holds a DMA from the University of Maryland in Horn Performance, an M.M. from the Lynn Conservatory of Music, and a Performance Certificate from Shenandoah Conservatory. Dr. Tatum has helped our students achieve top honors in County and State Solo Festivals, All-County and All-State Band, the Interlochen Fine Arts Camp, various youth orchestras, and a finalist in the Navy Band's Young Artist Concerto Competition.

To see Dr. Tatum and his musicians in action, please attend the upcoming Instrumental Concert on Thursday, December 14th at &:30 p.m. in the Mahler Center for the Performing Arts. This concert is free and open to the public.

This summer, Dr. Tatum was invited to write a reflection on his teaching career for the International Horn Society. We are so proud of Dr. Tatum and his work with our students. Please read his reflection by clicking here.