Diana Williams, Staff Writer

Our Wagner Band has celebrated many wins and successes in the recent school year. I got the chance to interview Mr.Chapman,  one of the Wagner Band Directors. Mr. Chapman also teaches some of the classes at the middle schools as well as here they are Kirby and Metzger. I asked him questions which include:

1.How long have you been teaching band here at Wagner?

I am in my sixth year here at Wagner High School.  My first year was in 2013-2014. I have been the Percussion Director here all six years.

2.What influenced you to start teaching band?

It was something that I had always done to make money in college.  I was teaching my first drum line right after I graduated high school and continued to work with bands all through college. I was originally a performance major, which means I was studying how to perform with various different ensembles (orchestras, wind groups, chamber groups, and percussion ensembles) as well as training to be a professional solo performer. One day I realized that I was making money teaching to support my performing, and I thought about how much I liked teaching and I decided to continue education as my career.

3.What competition are you looking forward to the most? Why?

I’m a little different as a teacher, I don’t really focus on the “competition” or contest.  I do my best to teach that the “journey is greater than the Inn”. The process is more important than the product.  I believe that if the process is solid to create a great product, than the competition will take care of itself.

4.Do you feel confident in this years band going to UIL?

I feel great about the bands going to UIL this year.  We are younger group this year with more underclassmen in the program than upperclassmen.  With that being said, all of our groups are playing very well, they are learning at a faster rate than we anticipated, and we very excited about the maturity our groups will perform with at UIL.

5.What are some expectations going to UIL?

Well, we are focusing more on the students playing ability and taking a young group and making them sound mature.  I guess the stereotypical expectation is for every group to get the sweepstakes award, which would be a first division rating at both the on-stage portion of the contest and the sight-reading contest. We are constantly working on the students playing and performing ability so that when they go to the contest, they feel completely prepared to do their best performance.  If that “best performance” is achieved, we feel confident that the ratings will be Superior/First Division ratings.

6.Is there anything in this year’s students that is different than your students before?

I think with the younger population in our program this year we have been able to create a stronger culture for success with the students. That being said, we have been able to do that because of the upperclassmen and their desire to have a strong culture for success.  This culture also been built because of the tremendous parent involvement we have had this year.

7.What is something you hope for your students to learn this year from being in band?

I hope that they learn a few things. 1) That they can transfer the work ethic they develop in band to any other class or activity they want, and know that it will reap the same rewards they have being in band.  2) That they have a better understanding about how to work well with others. Being in band is the ultimate job skill training where you have to work with people you like or may not like and have to complete a task or achieve a goal together. This skill is very valuable and will help create success for the students when they leave Wagner. 3) That the students have a greater appreciation for the arts and as adults grow into supporting the arts by going to a museum, seeing the symphony, watching a play, going to concerts, etc…

8.Where do you see the band at the end of the school year?

Stronger, bigger, and better.  We will be sad that our seniors won’t be able to perform with us anymore, but because of their commitment to the program we have a strong foundation for our younger students about our identity as a program, and how we go about achieving success. The goal is to try to be better than the program was the year before.  We’re hoping to have some great accomplishments set up for next year’s group and carry on that momentum into next year’s Marching Band season.


All the wagner band and winterguard contest and concerts before spring break are listed below are listed below:

Jan 26 Winterguard Contest @ Medina Valley H.S.

Feb 9 Winterguard Contest @ Madison H.S.

Feb 23 UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest @ Steele H.S.

Feb 27 JISD Pre-UIL Festival @ JISD PAC

Mar 2 Winterguard Contest @ McCollum H.S.

Mar 6 (tentative) Percussion Ensemble Concert @ Wagner H.S.