By Jacob Stackable; The Whetstone
Q: How long have you been teaching at Wesley College?
A: This is my first semester
Q: Where were you teaching before here?
A: I taught at Rutgers University while working on my doctorate for the last three years. Before that, I taught in public schools of Missouri, Kansas and Pennsylvania.
Q: Did you teach music there as well?
Q: When you went to college was your original intention to become a music teacher? Or just to practice music?
A: Yes, I’ve known I wanted to be a band director since I was in sixth grade, which is when I started band.
Q: When was the first time you listened to music and enjoyed it?
A: Sometime in my childhood before I can remember it. I can remember again being in sixth grade, so first year of middle school was the first time I discovered my love for classical music. I remember hearing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the first time was the one that did it for me. Just listening to that last movement over and over and over again and I’ve been pretty much hooked on it since.
Q: So would you say Beethoven is your favorite composer?
A: No. I think he’s the most important composer in history but my favorite composer is an Australian named Percy Granger.
Q: Your favorite musical genre, obviously, is classical.
A: Wind band music, more specifically. I really do love concert band music. That’s why I’ve chosen to make it my life’s work.
Q: What is it about wind band that you like?
A: I discovered that I loved the sound of a good wind band more than an orchestra. I think it’s more close to the human voice. These are instruments operated by the same force that gives us life, the human breath. I think that’s interesting, so it’s a timber and a sound that I’m in love with.
Q: Have you enjoyed your time so far here at Wesley?
A: I’ve got a difficult task of rebuilding the band program, or really building the band program for the first time. That’s a real challenge but I’m enjoying my core classes and enjoying the facilities and enjoying the general vibe for sure.
Q: Are there any goals you are trying to achieve this semester for the band?
A: My goals for the band are all ones that are going take longer than that. I have more like a 5-7 year plan for the band program. It’s going to take some time.