Hall Of Fame:

Basil Kerr, a Native of Charleston, SC, attended Bishop England HS. His high school band directors included Henry Lengnick, Pat Leonard, Eddie Toporek and Luther Townsend. He was a member of the SC All State Band and All State Orchestra in 1969, 1971 and 1972. Upon graduation from high school, he attended the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, where he studied horn and music theory under Don Haddad. He transferred to the University of Miami, where he studied under Clifton Williams, Alfred Reed, John Kinyon, and performed in the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Fredrick Fennell. While a junior at Miami, he auditioned for and earned a contract as a reserve horn player in the Miami Philharmonic.

Upon graduation from Miami in 1976, he returned to Charleston and served as the assistant band director at Bishop England, then took the position of band director at Wando High School in February of 1977. From 1977-1995, he presided over the growth and development of the Wando Band from 48 players to over 160 at the time of his departure. During that time the band consistently earned Superior ratings in marching and concert performance, and was consistently a state marching finalist. Kerr wrote the arrangement and lyrics for the Wando HS Alma Mater. He also created the first Advanced Placement Music Theory course in South Carolina, starting in 1979. During the mid 1980's he served as chairman of the Concert Festival Committee.

He left Wando in 1995 to pursue a doctorate in Music Education at the University of South Carolina. While at USC he taught Music Appreciation and supervised student teachers for the School of Music. He completed his coursework and studies (ABD) in 1998. He took a position as the band director at Lakewood HS in Sumter District 2 for the 1997-1998 school year. (He considers it one of his most satisfying teaching experiences.)

In 1998 the Charleston County School of the Arts ("SOA") created a high school band position and hired Mr. Kerr as their first high school band director. When he began at SOA that fall, the school only went to 10th grade. Since that first year, the SOA Band has consistently earned Superior ratings in both concert and jazz performance. The SOA Wind Ensemble performed at the Bands of America National Concert Band Festival in 2003, and at the Grand National Adjudicators Invitational in Chattanooga 7 times from 2004-2017, placing in the top three bands 5 times. The SOA Jazz has performed at the Savannah Music Festival's "Swing Central" competition in 2005, 2008 and 2013. The Wind Ensemble performed twice at the SCMEA In-Service Conference. The SOA Jazz Ensemble has also performed twice at the SCMEA Conference. Members of the jazz band have performed in the feature film "The Notebook", and the concert band in the HBO series "Vice Principals". Most recently, the Charleston School of the Arts Clarinet Choir performed with Dr. Cecilia Kang at the 2017 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.

In 2005, the College Board honored Mr. Kerr's AP Music Theory class as "Strongest in the World" for the high number of students taking the course and all of them passing, most with scores of 4 and 5.

Graduates of the School of the Arts Band have continued their musical careers as band directors, military band members, studio musicians, music and recording producers, and performing artists. Many more have pursued successful careers in medicine, business, education, engineering, software development, IT support, the ministry, and many other areas.