NGU News


Marlin Terell Ketter ’16

Master’s Music Education

Occupation: Band Director at Hartsville Middle School

My name is Marlin T. Ketter, and I am in my 5th year as Band Director at Hartsville Middle School. As the band director, the program grew from 125 students to 250 students in 2 years. The number of students participating in region and all-state has tripled, and the programs concert bands have consistently earned excellent and superior ratings and Concert and Jazz Performance Assessments.

I am from Hartsville, SC, and a graduate of Coker College, where I graduated Cum Laude in May 2012, as well as, North Greenville University with a Master’s in music education in December 2016. While at Coker, I became a proud member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Kappa Delta Pi, The National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Association of Teaching and Singers (NATS).  I was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, and served as an adjudicator for the district, all county, and regional events; as well as, had the opportunity to complete an honors project – Reaching Children through Music:  A Middle School Choral Clinic – designed to reach middle school children through music one step at a time. I also had the opportunity to be a part of the Darlington County School District Art-Summer Program for the last six years. During my tenure at North Greenville University, I wrote a thesis focusing on recruitment and retention in urban middle schools.

I taught at various elementary schools including West Hartsville Elementary, North Hartsville Elementary, Brunson-Dargan Elementary, Pate Elementary, Thornwell School of the Arts, and Southside Early Childhood Center. I worked as the leader of Boy Scout troop 544 and am currently the assistant director of bands at Hartsville High School. In July 2016, I was awarded the Distinguished Arts Grant worth $18,000.00.

I am very diligent in the community and in the state of South Carolina including conducting the Eastern District Middle School Honor Band in January of 2016, comprised of 6th-8th graders from the eastern part of South Carolina. I also conducted the Middle School Region 5 Alternate Band in February of 2017 in Charleston, SC. He is also a member of an improv group: Ten Piece Bucket, that performs locally in the Pee Dee Area.

Recently, I was named the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year for Hartsville Middle School, as well as, received the 2020 South Carolina Music Educator Association Young Outstanding the Music Educator Award. I also serve as an advisor on the South Carolina College- and Career-Ready Standards for General Music Proficiency Board revamping the assessments for the state.

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