Lakewood High School students have just returned to school, but members of the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band have been hard at work during the summer preparing for the 2013 marching season.
One hundred and fifteen students have gathered over two Band Camp sessions to hone their marching skills and learn music for the upcoming season under the leadership of new LHS Band Director Nathan Harris.
Mr. Harris is in his second year teaching band in Lakewood, his first as high school director. Nathan is a 2009 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he was a member of the Ohio State University Marching Band. He has taught previously for two years with the South Euclid-Lyndhurst City Schools and one year with Southington Local Schools near Warren, OH. Last year Mr. Harris taught band at Harding Middle School. “I am looking forward to continuing my journey with the Lakewood music department, and continuing to make Lakewood schools a premier destination for music education,” said Mr. Harris.
Assisting Mr. Harris is the new Lakewood Ranger Marching Band Assistant Director John Blasko. Mr. Blasko attended Case Western Reserve University, earning a B.S. in Music Education in 2008. Afterward, he taught instrumental and general music in the Wadsworth City Schools for two years. He then returned to school full-time, earning a M.A. in Music Education from The Ohio State University in 2013. This year, John will be beginning his first year as an instrumental music teacher at Harding Middle School, replacing Nathan Harris.
Returning to the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band as advisors are Tim Hampton (LHS Class of 2004, B.Mus. Youngstown State University 2008, M.Mus. University from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, 2011), who returns for his sixth season as Percussion Advisor, and Sarah Miller (LHS Class of 2008, Cuyahoga Community College 2013), in her fourth year as Flag Corps Advisor. New to the advisor team is Rangerette Advisor Kristen Tellaisha (LHS Class of 2008, BA University of Dayton 2012). Kristen is a former LHS Rangerette Captain and was a member of the “Pride of Dayton Marching Band Flyerettes.”
With an average age of 25, the leadership of the Lakewood Ranger Marching Band brings a youthful approach to teaching and motivating young musicians. Using tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube, and a text-message reminder system, communication flows freely and often between Mr. Harris, advisors and musicians. Recordings and drill charts are posted online, helping band members practice and memorize the music and formations for upcoming shows. LHS Senior and Tenor Sax Section Leader Hugh Campbell commented, “I like the newfound efficiency of the band and can't wait to see how our hard work will come together at halftime.” When asked about how the students were responding to the new ways of rehearsing and performing, Mr. Harris answered: “I am amazed at the band members’ abilities to embrace a new culture, and am so proud of the ownership they’ve taken in realizing their individual potential; they’ve already taken the group to another level.”
Make sure to see the 2013 Lakewood Ranger Marching Band at one of their upcoming performances. In addition to performing at every home and away game through November 1, the band “built with Pride, Discipline, Commitment, and Respect” invites you to the Lakewood Marching Band Festival on Saturday, September 21. Advertising and sponsorship opportunities are available for this annual LHS Ranger Marching Band fundraising event that brings hundreds of high school musicians – and their parents and families – to Lakewood for an evening of memorable performances under the lights at First Federal Lakewood Stadium.
For information regarding Band Festival sponsorship and upcoming performances, visit the band’s new website or call the Band Office at (216) 227-5980.