RJH band director says ‘thanks for support’

Dear editor,

These last few years in Rockdale have been great for my family and I.

As many of you know I didn’t grow up here but my family lived here for quite some time. Growing up in Fort Worth I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know as many of my neighbors as I do now.

I feel like this community has accepted my wife and I with open arms. Living in a tight-knit community is everything I thought it could be.

I am still learning new things about this community. It is neat to have a personal connection to many of the buildings I saw as a kid. I feel that I am in the right place at the right time.

I took the Junior High Band director job in the fall of 2009 and haven’t looked back since.

When I took over this juniorhigh program I knew it needed some work. In fact not only did I come into a band that needed work, the band hall was an absolute wreck because of the high school construction.

As the dust settled the high school band eventually was able to move out of the RJH band hall and I could assess the damage.

The junior-high band hall I found to be old, but it had great potential. The band hall I came from was one room and had no office, no practice rooms, and no lockers.

So I felt I had hit the jackpot to have any storage at all. I spent a lot of time de-cluttering and I feel it is one of the most well taken care of rooms in the school thanks to my custodian Mary. I couldn’t do any of my teaching without her hard work and dedication to our kids.

The numbers at the Junior High were at an all-time low in the fall of 2009. I had 38 students in my Symphonic Band and 45 6th grade band students.

I have always heard that “if you build it they will come.” I am providing our students with the opportunity to play more updated music as well as some fun classics.

Last year’s parade of bands was an experience I will never forget. Thank you Rockdale for being such a great supporter of our concerts.

The kids have a new appreciation for the classics like the 1812 Overture. Numbers have exceeded even my expectations.

The Symphonic band has 87 students and the beginning band will have about 95 students!

This success couldn’t be achieved without the parents. I appreciate every one of you who encourages your children to stay in the band program.

We have so many fun things planned for this year I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to be in band. We have many advantages that are making this junior-high band so much better than many other 2C programs.

We have two private lesson instructors that many of you may know that do a fantastic job. Cheers to Leah and Sparky Thomason.

We have a group of band boosters that truly know the meaning of personal sacrifice.

My wife and I were eating at Banda’s a few weeks ago and, when we went to pay, someone had bought our dinner.

I still don’t know who it was but, if you’re reading this, thanks from the bottom of our hearts. That day had been one of the hardest days I had experienced and you just really made my day. It’s people like you that make this a great place to live.

Lance A. Walker

RJH Band Director

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2011-08-25 digital edition

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