This school year, Central is welcoming James Henderson as the new Music Coordinator for Central Community Schools. Mr. Henderson was born and raised in Baton Rouge and graduated from Belaire High School, where he studied music under band director Wayne Frazier who inspired Mr. Henderson at a young age to pursue a career in music education. He graduated with a BA in Music Education from LSU in 1998. After graduation, he taught 5th through 12th grade music in Loranger, LA and later moved to Orlando, FL where he taught at three different schools. It was during his time in Orlando that he decided he would like to further his career and he moved to Athens, GA where he received his MA in Instrumental Conducting. He then worked as Director of Athletic Bands for Northwestern State University in Nachitoches, but found that he missed working with high school students. After much deliberation and prayer, he began searching for a position at a high school, which is when the opportunity with Central Community Schools appeared. He worked with Superintendent Faulk to create and define the new role of Music Coordinator for the school system.
The new position of Music Coordinator for Central Community Schools allows Mr. Henderson to travel between all the schools in Central in order to coordinate the music programs for kindergarten through 12th grade. This will enable him to ensure that the music programs on every grade level are performing above and beyond state standards and to provide continuity between schools. This position is the first of its kind in our area and because Central is often on the forefront of new ideas, he believes neighboring school districts may soon begin a similar process.
Mr. Henderson would like to implement a five year plan for Central High’s marching band. During the first three years of this plan, the focus will be on gaining members and taking small steps toward the five year goal of national recognition at such events as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Rose Bowl. Until then, the band will work toward local and regional recognition by participating in local and regional events like the Louisiana Showcase of Marching Bands in Lafayette. Mr. Henderson says that doubling the number of band members and being chosen to participate in national shows will not happen overnight, but that with the support of the community, “the sky’s the limit.”
This year the marching band will be performing a show entitled Lux, which is designed to embody light and energy. It is an uplifting, mesmerizing show with lots of percussion and stunning visuals. Mr. Henderson says he is “very excited about this show.” It is not too late to sign up to join the band for the upcoming school year. Anyone who has at least one year of experience is welcome to attend band camp, which begins on July 17th at 6:00 p.m. The band will be rehearsing on this date, so bring your instrument or mouthpiece if you will be using one of the school’s instruments. Hope to see you there!