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LaFayette High School Welcomes New Band Director

Pictured above is Mr. Jared Willis, the new Band Director for the LaFayette High School Mighty Marching Bulldogs

On Wednesday, June 14th, the Chambers County Board of Education approved the hiring of Mr. Jared Willis to serve as the new Band Director for the LaFayette High School Mighty Marching Bulldogs. Mr. Willis will begin his new role leading the Mighty Marching Bulldogs in July in directing the band camp preparations for the fall season.

Mr. Willis was recommended for hire by LHS Principal, Mrs. Christy Brock Johnson after he set himself apart from the other candidates in the interview process conducted. Mrs. Brock-Johnson was high on Jared’s enthusiasm and energy as well as the outstanding references provided on his behalf. References on Jared’s behalf noted that he was a highly skilled musician who is proficient in playing at least five plus instruments. He also has a great deal of experience noted in arranging music in relation to band performances.

Mr. Willis earned his Bachelor of Music and Performing Arts from Alabama State University. He is currently enrolled in the Master’s degree program at ASU in Music Education. Mr. Willis worked as an Assistant Band Director last year with the Park Crossing High School Band from August to May of the 2022-23 school year. Mr. Jamal Butler who serves as the PCHS Band Director noted that Jared has a real strength for arranging music. Prior to his work with PCHS Band, Jared did volunteer work with the Selma High School Band during the 2021-22 school year.

Alabama State University Director of Bands, Dr. James B. Oliver noted that Jared Willis showed outstanding leadership during his five years serving the ASU Marching Band. During his time at ASU, Jared served as a Brass Section Leader for the Mighty Marching Hornets and shined playing both the trumpet and the saxophone. Dr. Oliver stated that he has excellent communication skills with students and is an extremely hard worker. As section leader, Jared was responsible for the brass section’s marching and playing performance both on the field and in the stands.

Jared earned his diploma before enrolling at ASU graduating from Jeff Davis High School in 2017. His high school band director was Mr. Brandon Howard who currently serves as the Director of Bands at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Mr. Howard stated that Jared was an amazing student who shined as a section leader while in the Jeff Davis High School Band. Mr. Howard believes that Jared Willis will be a great hire for the LHS Mighty Marching Bulldogs to direct them to future success this coming year.

Jared’s goal is to serve as a strong role model for his students to help them develop to their highest potential. Jared wants to see members of the LHS Mighty Marching Bulldogs represented in the future in both honor bands and all-state band accomplishments. He noted that one of the most exciting times from his collegiate experience at Alabama State was playing in the legendary Magic City Classic. He is looking forward to working with Mrs. Brock-Johnson to bring an exciting and outstanding band program to LHS this fall for students and parents to enjoy. Jared will be planning the launch of the LHS Band Camp in July while learning from behind-the-scenes input from the retired former LaFayette Band Director and legend, Mr. Leon Banks.

CCSD Superintendent, Dr. Casey Chambley noted he was thrilled to be able to hire Mr. Jared Willis into the role as the new band director at LHS as he came so highly recommended for his musical talents and outstanding work ethic.

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