On a recent Friday morning, several students stood in the entryway at Perry Community High School playing Christmas music on brass instruments. It was about 7:30 a.m. and the students were being led by Brandon Weeks.
Weeks, 22, feels lucky to be the new band director at Perry Community High School.
“I feel very, very fortunate to have landed here,” Weeks said in a recent interview. He knows that most recent graduates don’t land a first job as a band director in a school the size of Perry. He believes he’s landed the best job out of all of the college graduates in Iowa, when it comes to band.
“Most people have two or three jobs before they land as a band director at a school this size,” he said. “I came here as a student teacher and ended up with this great job.”
Weeks, who specializes in percussion instruments, plays at least 10 other instruments as well, although he only considers himself at a professional playing level on percussion instruments and playing the piano.
He also feels lucky because he was able to student teach for eight weeks with the previous band director, Steve Cook.
“I didn’t know he was going to retire until I came here to teach,” Weeks said. “Student teaching helped me get a feel for the school and the students.”
Weeks is thankful for the high-level band program he was able to step into and having the guidance of Cook before he did.
His goal now is to take an already excellent program and continue to improve it, bringing his own touch to band performance and instruction. One of the first things he has done is take the marching band to competition in the fall. It was the first time the marching band had been to a competition in more than 15 years.
“I believe competitions help students work harder and strive for excellence, but I think the competition also needs to be educational,” he said. That’s why he will only be taking students to competitions which include instructional and educational components, such as workshops as well as competitions.
He said he will work to bring in more students. “We are at about 80 band members in high school, and at a high school at this size, the band should be at about 130 students,” he said.
“I will push to make us better,” Weeks said.
What do you like best about Mr. Weeks?