Big little band marches towards success in Shickley
Known as the “big little town”, the band in Shickley follows the local slogan, with a sound and look much larger than their 17 members.
“We're pretty small, but create a lot of sound,” trumpet player Lexi Kadel said.
Their director wants to give kids the full marching band experience he had.
Joshua Harris said, “We don't want to shortchange them just because we're a small school.”
Harris teaches band and choir, and starts with the kids in fifth grade. By the time they’re in high school, they know what’s expected.
Kadel pointed to a horn movement they had been working on, as an example of taking things to another level.
“Finally we all got it, it clicked, and from then on it was so much easier,” she said.
About half the high school is in band, and there’s lots of personal attention from director to students.
Senior Anthony Beavers said, “He's really good at helping individual people and making sure we play things right and he cares about us and wants to prepare us for our future so we can be the best people we can be.”
They played on an overcast morning, in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Harris stopped his students.
“Hopefully one day we'll start the week without the conversation of "did you see the news?"
He finds teachable moments in the tragedies that shape our world.
He instructs them, “You're the next generation and you can make that change and be the positive influence in life.”
Creating harmony in and out of the classroom.
Beavers, a saxophone player said, “It's important for every single person to know their part and whenever knows their part and plays it loud, it makes a nice full sound.”
Band fits the school’s larger mission.
Harris said, “Our goal here at Shickley is to prepare students for success. Everything we do is to make a successful student and successful person.”
Whether that’s going on to play music in college, or entering the workforce, Harris has the same message for each.
“Be the best at what you are, and that's all we can ask of anybody.”