West Lincoln High School students will welcome a fresh face to their band department this fall.
Hickory native Taylor Brown will serve as the high school’s new band director.
Like many musicians, Brown’s passion for music developed at an early age. His first encounter with the performing arts began at the age of 9, when he began lessons on the violin.
“My parents told me, ‘We’ve seen how much you enjoy music,’ and guided me toward playing the violin,” he said.
From there, Brown added the trumpet to his musical repertoire in eighth grade, where he joined the H.M. Arndt Middle School band. His passion for music continued to grow in high school, where he was appointed his band’s trumpet section leader for two consecutive years.
After graduating from Saint Stephen’s High School in 2010, Brown attended Appalachian State University, where he was accepted into the Instrumental Music Education Program. During his four years of student, he was involved in several ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Brass Choir, Phi Mu Alpha Men’s Choir, Gospel Choir, Appalachian Basketball Band and the Appalachian State Marching Mountaineers. In 2010, Brown traveled with the Marching Mountaineers to play in the nationally televised Three Kings Parade in Madrid.
“In college, we took classes on every instrument, so we could feel comfortable knowing how to operate each one,” he explained. “I went into college pretty much knowing I wanted to be a band director. Band is so versatile with their ensembles.”
The classes incorporated fundamental knowledge of string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. This past spring, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a minor in Marketing. Although he is a recent graduate, Brown is familiar with Lincoln County, having spent a semester student teaching at North Lincoln High School.
Brown will work with both middle school and high school students this school year.
“During first and second period, I’ll team teach band courses at West Lincoln Middle School, where we’ll work on the key fundamentals,” he said. “During marching season, I’ll work with a small (high school) ensemble where I’ll have the opportunity to work more one-on-one with students, focusing on their personal musical needs. And then fourth period will be my actual marching band class. That will have between 60-70 students, and it will be the most involved and intensive course, where we’ll be working on drills and music for competition and football games, and mixing in fundamental practice to foster good playing.”
This semester, the marching band students will work on a Latin based show entitled, “My Spanish Heart.”
“We’ll be playing tunes that show how this guy meets this girl and the ways he expresses his love and passion for her as a gentleman,” he said.
Although this will be Brown’s first year as a full-time teacher, he is eager to meet his students and begin teaching.
“I’m looking forward to interacting with hardworking students and seeing what we are able to accomplish together,” he said.