Posted Date: 04/16/2019
The beginning of the school year wasn’t easy for the Chanute High School band members. It was the third new director for the seniors and the younger students were not excited about the change.
Thursday, the hard work paid off when the band received a I rating at the KSHSAA state music festival for large ensembles. It’s only the second “outstanding” from state judges in 35 years, the last one taking place in 2015 under director James Kelso.
The band played two songs, Rough Riders, a march by Karl King, and Creed, by William Himes, at the competition. Three judges scored the band individually in variety of categories. In the end their total score put them in the “outstanding” category with a I.
“We’ve come a long way, made a lot of progress,” Rogers said about her first year directing the bands in Chanute. “We’re just going to get better and better.”
Rogers had built a strong and successful band program at Neodesha over 18 years, when she accepted the challenge to teach the Royster and CHS band students last fall.
“We made a lot of changes and that was hard for them,” said director Jan Rogers. “They’ve gone along with it and I think they can see the results now.”
“I think at the beginning of the year we were timid because of the new director and didn’t really work together,” said senior Aubrianna Campbell. “But throughout the year we got to know each other better and Ms. Rogers better and meshed together as a band.”
“At the beginning of the year we’d been through three directors so there was some resentment,” said Trenton Lowry. Not everyone was excited about another new director. “I thought she was going to be awesome.”
Rogers expects a lot from her students.
“I’m happy she has her high expectations and structure and for the way she teaches. I personally think it’s benefitted the band the ways she does that,” Lowry said.
With all the changes the last four years, Kalyn Jones said “we’ve grown and adapted to what was thrown at us.”
“We got a new director and things began to work,” Savannah Crellin said. The students became less self-centered and learned to work together.
“It’s a slow process to grow a band. It takes time. The kids worked hard and they’re learning and are receptive to what I’m telling them,” Rogers said.
When the scores came out … well they’re still excited about it.
“I was super excited,” Crellin said. “I freaked out with excitement.”
The percussion section “literally picked me up and carried me on a wave,” Lowry said. “It was so exciting. I’m still pumped about it.”