Though a staffing change in the Lyon County Band Program came late this summer, with the exit of former director Spencer Sullivan and hiring of new director Josh Scott, the show must go on, and the Lyon County High School Marching Band is hard at work preparing for competition this Fall.
Scott grew up in Cumberland County, and as such is no stranger to small schools and small bands. That small band, however, didn't put a limit on his drive to achieve musical excellence.
"I really aspired to be the best that I could be, so I practiced all the time. That kinda lead me to the path I'm in right now; my musical path," Scott shared. "I marched in marching band from my 7th grade year all the way through high school."
From there, he went on to perform with the All-American Marching Band, spent two summers with Music City Drum Corps, and marched all four of his years at Western Kentucky University.
Though Scott's main instrument is euphonium, he said his music education taught him the basics of all instruments.
"I'm not just a marching band person," he said. "I also played in concert band. I was principle euphonium at Western for all four years I was there, and I was also invited to play with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra."
Though this is his first position heading up a music program as an official district employee, Scott has previously taught at three different band camps and gave private lessons to students while in college.
Scott was brought on to the team at Lyon County less than two weeks ago, so he's had to adapt the band's summer practice schedule from a traditional band camp to something more condensed, but he said the students have handled it well.
"The kids are being very flexible with the schedule," Scott said. "We really have had probably half of a band camp, but they're doing really well... They are advancing really quickly, and I'm looking forward to the season and what it brings."
This year's Lyon County Marching Band is small but mighty, with ten wind players, five color guard, and around five percussionists.
Scott said they decided to stick with the show music chosen and purchased by Sullivan before he left, but he was tasked with handling the drill. He currently has someone writing the drill for the band, and said the members are getting it set just about as quickly as it arrives.
"From the composer's aspect, he calls it 'Metamorphosis,'" he said of this year's show. "I think I'm going to go more for just overall change, not even just specifically think of this being into another being... I think that would really work for these kids, too, because they're undergoing a lot of changes. They're in middle school and high school; they're changing, their social life is changing, their work ethic is changing, and then, not to mention, they have the band director changing… It will just be more of a deeper meaning to the kids."
"This first year, I'm just hoping that the kids enjoy their time and they want to come back next year," Scott said of his expectations for his inaugural year at the helm of the Lyons. "I went through a director change while I was in school, and that director came in and tried to change everything all at once, and it kind of went downhill from there. So, me coming in, I've not changed that much. I'm trying to gradually change stuff that I see fit as I go, but I don't want to come in and reinvent the wheel."
In the future, though, he has his eyes set on another semi-finals appearance; something that has eluded the Lyons for over a decade.
"I think these kids have got what it takes," he said. "It's just about how the season plays out."