New Year, New Band Director

Instruments blare to the conductor’s instruction, trained fingers move along with the notes, and the instructor beams down at his pride and joy.

New Band Director Lucas Meade is starting his journey at his new job. He comes from an extensive background of musical experience, directing many bands before coming here.

“I worked at a 6A program in West Texas called Frenship High School where I was one of five band directors for over 300 band students. I was an assistant band and jazz director, where I directed at different times: the Freshman Band, the Concert Band, Two Big Bands, and, of course, the marching band,” Meade said. “Before that, I did my undergraduate degree in Music Education at Texas Tech University. I also just finished my Masters in Music Education which I did while teaching full-time over the past few years.”

Meade has been around instruments and music for most of his life and excelled in the field, mostly through trumpet, and was able to showcase his talent on a national level.

“I actually started on Cornet, which is the same as a trumpet, in the 4th grade, which I still play today. I’ve had a lot of amazing playing experiences. Many of my collegiate concerts were absolutely incredible,” Meade said. “I also had the privilege of auditioning and advancing for the National Trumpet Competition, which I got to perform as a semi-finalist at Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, as well as an ensemble member for a performance at the International Trumpet Guild in Anaheim, California.”

Since his senior year in high school, Meade has known what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He fell in love with music education and marching early on, his love for it driving him to complete his education in it

“My senior year of high school, I was fortunate to have a high school that had an independent student mentorship program. I chose music education and marching drill composition and had an absolutely blast,” Meade said. “When I finished my final project that included a week of marching band rehearsals, I kept thinking “can we do another week?”. I knew I was going into the right field at that point. From there, my love only deepened through each course in my undergraduate. I really do have the best job in the world.”

Meade was attracted to the position at this school not only because he loves the job in general, but he got a whole different vibe as he began to integrate himself into the job. He found that the students here have a passion for the program and the music.

“From the first moment I walked into the band room for my interview, I could tell the atmosphere was different,” Meade said. “The students buy in in a way that’s actually quite rare and they were truly invested in making music, not just playing notes. That, more than anything, sold me.”

While hoping to create new memories and experiences here, Meade will always remember the moments that shaped him into the teacher he is today.

“There was a moment my sophomore year of high school where I was preparing for a football game and suddenly everything went into slow motion. I remember looking around the band room and seeing so many different kinds of people – different personalities, different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different looks – and seeing them all working together towards a common goal,” Meade said. “That was so beautiful in that moment. That was the first moment I thought it might be incredible to make this happen for every student.”

Every year, there is Band camp, which is a two week long, intensive schedule occurring about a month before school starts where the students learn how to march, memorize a huge amount of music and put the first movement of the marching show on the field. Not only does it signify the start of a new band season, but it also gives Meade and the students a chance to get to know each other.

“Band camp was absolutely fantastic. This year we had rehearsal from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the first week and then 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the second week,” Meade said. “It’s always an amazing time where the band bonds together in preparation for the marching season. I definitely got to know a very large number of students over that time. I love getting to know students, so I make that a priority.”

With his new job, comes a new start and a chance to change a student’s experience. His goals reach far and his ambition pushes him to want to create a better band program and make it an experience his students will remember forever.

“My biggest goal is that every student has an artistic experience at least once over the marching season. I want them to have a moment where they express something beyond words, and connect musically with another human being in a way they never have – whether a band member next to them, a drum major, or an audience member,” Meade said. “I’m also working on goals of better visibility in the community through social media and performances, starting the jazz program, sounding cleaner and playing exciting fun tunes at football games, and getting more of the student body to our competitions and concerts.”