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Music classes manage after band director’s departure

Band+members+practice+for+a+future+performance.
Band members practice for a future performance.

Band members practice for a future performance.

Band members practice for a future performance.

Justin Kuropas, Assistant Graphics Editor

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Perhaps unknown to the majority of the school, the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Orchestra classes have been working for weeks without an essential part of each group, the band director, Joel Tucker.

While some bands may be completely out of luck if their band director quits, students were lucky to have a WF graduate and guard instructor, Caleigh Crane, a new math teacher, be able to immediately step in and lead the band.

Sophomore Spencer Cockrell believes that Crane leading the band has been beneficial.

“I think our band is doing just fine with Ms. Crane as our director right now. So far, we’ve won the most awards this year, our show sounds amazing, and we feel good this year,” Cockrell said.

Cayden Miller along with multiple other students in the band were not confident in the future of the band when they heard that Tucker quit.

“Obviously when I heard Mr. Tucker quit I was confused and concerned. I didn’t know how the marching band would continue,” Miller said.

Drum Major Annabeth Reed believes that, in one way or another, her goals for this year to strengthen the band’s pride and unity were accomplished through the band’s whole ordeal.

“At times it can be incredibly frustrating, but ultimately this has made us a stronger band, and everyone has worked incredibly hard. We’ve grown to depend on each other,” Reed said. “One of my goals this year was to strengthen the pride of the marching band again and although not in an ideal way, I can see the difference in the way the band acts this year.”

Reed points out that after Tucker left, the band became divided, but in the end the band started to come back together and grow stronger.

“At first there were people picking sides over the whole situation, and I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit of a mess; but now, people are closer. We’ve had to take on insanely difficult responsibilities and pressures, and we could only depend on the rest of our band for help. We’re definitely a stronger band,” Reed said.

Not only the Marching Band has been negatively affected by the loss of a band director. All the students in Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Orchestra have been left with a substitute who is not a musician.

“Because students are having to take the lead and teach, these students are missing out on playing, or in my case independent study in composition. The other students in the class don’t respect the student leaders in most cases, and they don’t understand why one of their peers is teaching them,” Reed said. “New students have been the most affected because they don’t know their peer leaders enough to trust their skill and respect their help. However, for the most part, the classes are still progressing exceptionally well for the scenario.”

No matter what happens in the future, some students will be left with a hole in their band experience like Cockrell who had to deal with no band director right before the beginning of his sophomore year of marching.

Cockrell said, “I felt that I was betrayed by Mr. Tucker. I didn’t like what he did, how he left us at the very beginning of the marching season. I would’ve understood if he did it before the season started, but he quit right before our first competition.”

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Music classes manage after band director’s departure