Dresden is getting the band back together
For the first time in many years, Dresden Middle and Dresden High School students will soon have the opportunity to be a part of a traditional band.
The addition is a result of increasing student interest and high level of participation in music programs at both schools. The Middle and High School Band class schedule is currently in the planning phase and is set to be implemented in the 2023-24 school year. This traditional band program will feature a variety of woodwind, brass, and concert percussion instruments.
Mrs. Rebecca Steele currently teaches General Music to all of the district’s middle schools, and Mr. Jacob Abbott teaches General Music, Choir, and Pop Band to Dresden High students.
Steele will be teaching the Dresden Middle School Band classes and says she’s thrilled to be a part of providing students with this new opportunity.
“We can’t convey how excited we are that a Band is returning to Dresden. For years, we’ve had more and more students participating in music programs. There’s rarely a day that goes by that Mr. Abbott and I don’t get the question from a Dresden student, ‘Why don’t we have a band? Can we please start a band here again?’ We could tell that the students really needed this outlet for expression, and we’re so excited to get started,” said Steele.
While the future is certainly bright, nothing great happens overnight. Learning an instrument and practicing to become a musician takes time. The program will start at the ground level with a beginner’s band class offering to middle school students. Over the course of the next few years, the vision is to expand options and grow into a full, traditional band program.
The district plans to work with a third party, AMRO Music, to offer students a rent-to-own option for the purchase of their instrument. An informational meeting is in the planning stage that will discuss the program, advice on purchasing instruments, and the instrument rental program. The date and time of the informational meeting will be released as soon as it becomes available.
Dresden High Music Teacher Jacob Abbott says that the creation of a band has always been the goal.
“We are so grateful to our building and district administrators for making this happen. Being a part of a band is an amazing opportunity for students to achieve in an artistic form outside of a regular classroom,” said Abbott. For the last six years, I’ve been working to build student interest and a variety of music programs with the hope that establishing a band would one day be a possibility. Based on the interest of my current students, I’m certain that this program will take off and get stronger in a few years.”
Dresden Middle School Principal David Lewellen believes that providing a variety of activities for students to plug in is important for students.
“Dresden schools had a band way back when I was a student here. We are proud to see it coming back to this community again. It’s always the goal to offer programs in a variety of areas for students to plug in and discover their skills and areas of creativity. The growing student interest we have in music in our schools can be directly attributed to the work of Mrs. Rebecca Steele at the middle school, Mr. Jacob Abbott at the high school, and now we have Mrs. Alissa Gulledge establishing a great program at Dresden Elementary School. There’s no doubt that we’re building something special here,” said Lewellen.
Assistant Director of Schools Betsi Foster is thrilled that more music is on the way for Dresden students.
“Music has a known positive effect on students. Studies show that musical involvement provides many benefits to students – including the improvement of thinking skills, coordination and dexterity, self-discipline, creativity, personal expression, and more. The high number of students who participate in music programming in Dresden’s schools clearly conveyed student interest, and we’re excited to institute this new program in the 2023-24 school year. Thanks to Mr. Abbott, Mrs. Steele, Mrs. Gulledge, and Principal Lewellen for working with us to make this dream a reality,” said Foster.
More information will be released about the program in coming months.