Band director vacancy filled by familiar face

MAKING+ADJUSTMENTS.+Doing+his+best+to+keep+band+members+at+a+safe+distance%2C+assistant+band+director+Joseph+Ditfurth+sets+the+seating+arrangement+at+Friday+night%27s+scrimmage+against+Cy+Falls.+

photo or infographic by Summer Rains

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS. Doing his best to keep band members at a safe distance, assistant band director Joseph Ditfurth sets the seating arrangement at Friday night’s scrimmage against Cy Falls.

by Summer Rains, VOW entertainment editor

Bigger halls, a bigger workload and older students. When transitioning from middle school to high school, there’s a lot of notable differences. Getting around campus can also be a struggle, especially with a and b halls and the new one way halls. It can take a while for someone new to find their place and fall into a new routine of a five day school week, but the new assistant band director is taking it all in his stride. 

Joseph Ditfurth is the new assistant band director. He moved up from Brabham Middle School this summer when Andrew Hicks resigned to take a job in Burnet, Texas.

“It’s all been really exciting and very different and kinda weird,” Ditfurth said. “I love getting to teach my old students again and see how much they’ve grown.”

Band is known as a very demanding elective, and students have put in a lot of effort to be the best that they can be. Having their old director back can help them learn even more.

“I’m really happy that he is at the high school,” junior Faith Miner said. “He helped me so much in middle school, and I know he can and will help me become better everyday with the help of Mr. Allen of course. So not only will he be able to see our sweaty faces after a performance, but he will have had a major contribution to it.”

Familiar faces are comforting especially during stressful and trying times like these. Both the director and students already have at least an acquaintance with each other and now they have an opportunity to expand that relationship.

“I’m glad that I’m getting to be a part of this experience even though it’s not the normal one,” Ditfurth said. “This is a huge growth opportunity for me, and I’m getting to teach students a whole different world of music compared to the beginner songs from middle school.”

Band can be many things for students: a place to have fun, a place to learn new things or place where students can prepare for their future careers.

“It’s exciting to get to work with my middle school band director,  and him getting to see how much we all have grown over the years,” junior Amari May said. “I think things will be a little easier this year on us all, especially the incoming freshmen that had Mr. D last year. I’m glad that he moved up because he knew the potential I had back then that I didn’t see in myself, and now he gets to see how much his work paid off.”

High school band is obviously more advanced than middle school band. There’s a lot more techniques and faster music that students get to learn, but now Mr. Ditfurth is having to learn to teach it as well with all the new regulations due to COVID19. 

“There’s a lot of logistics that go into marching season,” Ditfurth said. “The mix of masks and the Texas heat and having to keep each student 6 feet apart is a new challenge we’re facing. Reimagining the way we do things and trying to make it work is the biggest goal of our season.”