By HANNAH TAULBEE Logan Daily News Reporter
LOGAN — After 28 years as an assistant band director and woodwind specialist, Pam Price has accepted the position of Director of Bands for the Logan-Hocking Schools band program.
Price attended Logan High School and played clarinet in the band under the direction of the late Al Horsky. She, along with Jeff North, continued her musical education at Ohio University, where she stayed to complete her Masters degree before earning her teaching certificate from The Ohio State University.
When Jeff North announced his retirement, it was believed that Price would step into the leading role for the 2017-2018 school year while the district interviewed possible candidates to fulfill the position, before stepping back as an assistant director. However, Price will continue as the Director of Bands past the next academic year, and a new assistant director will be hired.
“When someone’s been around for as long as Jeff North was, it’s hard — and can be scary — for someone to come in. I feel like I can help with the transition, whether it be one year or however many years I have left,” Price explained. “Our plan is to have a smooth transition, and if someone comes along, I can be there to help them, and then we can work together to keep the tradition going.”
With the adjustment, the district has interviewed a number of individuals that expressed interest in the assistant position, although no announcement of a new hire has been made at this time.
In total, three directors are expected to run the program. Assistant band director Ben Wright will take on more responsibility within the program, as well as continue his work as a brass specialist. Instruction of the percussion section will be taken over by Travis Pickrell, to replace Dr. Tom Romine who also retired this past year. Candy Browning will provide guidance for the 10 majorettes.
“It’s a lot to think about and get ready. I know I’ll be leaning on Ben (Wright) more this year, and Jeff has invited me to ask him questions, when I have them,” Price admitted. “I’ve done this before, 20 years ago, when Jeff went on sabbatical to earn his Masters degree. The difference now is that it may not be just one year, and there are more computers and cell phones to get a hold of someone.”
Although North chose the music before the end of the school year, Price has been working to write the marching drill the students follow to create the shapes and designs on the field, as well as prepare for the concert season.
Following the first show, the students will learn an additional three, including one written and directed by Ben Wright; the new assistant director will also design a show. The senior class will decide the fourth show’s music.
In preparing for the upcoming marching season, high school band students have already worked with Price as the head director through the summer rehearsals in May, and are gearing up for pre-band camp and band camp to take place later this summer.
She addressed how the high school students seem to be relieved to know what the immediate future holds for the program; the initial rehearsals were a success.
“There is a great senior class this year, very musical, mature leaders,” Price stated. “I’ll be looking to them as well as the junior class to lead and carry on the rich traditions of the Logan Band. You don’t always know what’s going to happen, but I think they feel pretty good.”
Band in the Logan-Hocking Middle School is team-taught, where instructors rotate the days they teach, so Price isn’t concerned about how the students will respond to seeing her at the podium. What will be new for them, however, are the percussion instructor and the assistant director.
Another change may be allowing the eighth grade band members to join the high school during a half-time performance at a home game. While this is one of the additions Price is excited to explore, nothing is set in stone.
“A lot of what people expect depends on the effort the kids put forth, but I don’t think that’s going to be an issue; they take pride in what they do,” Price stated. “It’s going to be an exciting time for something new.”
Despite the new position, Price is looking forward to the year, and hopes that the community will just see the Logan Marching Chieftains as they’ve always been.
“We’re not really going to change anything. I think the community wants to keep what we’ve had in place for over fifty years, so the traditions will continue on,” Price said. “I’ve done it before, so I will just do my best for as long as I’m needed.”