Strange Times at Azle High

Mr.Strange+the+percussion+director.

Cynthia Garcia

Mr.Strange the percussion director.

He stands up next to the closest Marimba and elegantly grabs the mallets and all you can hear is a sweet musical melody vibrating on the Marimba. He has big round blue eyes and short light curly brown hair. No one has ever seen him around until now. He goes by the name Mr. Strange.
People have heard about the new percussion director Michael Strange but they always imagined a superhero like Doctor Strange.

This new school year has brought many changes for extracurricular activities not just because of COVID but also the change of a new band director. Percussion director Jack Baker said goodbye to Azle through a video before the summer ended.

Strange quickly became a part of the band program. He has taught at many schools before, but Azle has always caught his attention.

“This is my dream job,” Strange said. “When I say dream job, I mean working as the Percussion Director for Azle High School. The community, administration, and the school district have so much support for the band program.”

Strange has been teaching percussion for six and a half years, and he sees potential in every single one of his students.

“The percussion is doing very well,” Strange said. “We were unable to have a normal percussion camp/band camp this past summer and that initially made it challenging. I feel that in times of adversity, it shows who you truly are as a person and each student pushed through and has achieved greatness.”
This new director change took different tolls on all the students. Although the students are having to adjust to a new director, Strange is doing his very best to help.

“It was very different especially for the upperclassmen,” front ensemble section leader Isaiah Davidson said. “It’s hard to adjust and get used to something new. It’s new for all of us, even Mr. Strange. Strange is definitely doing a good job of being able to help us where he wants us to be.”

In the short amount of time Strange has been here, he has already led a positive affect on his students.

“Strange has influenced the percussion section to be more efficient and productive with their time and Strange makes the new insight from a different person exciting on the activity that I love,” snare section leader Jessica Scribner said.

The students were given the chance to talk and get to know the new person who was taking charge of the percussion section.

“We got the opportunity to meet Mr. Strange before band started up and from then I felt like I’d clicked with him,” sophomore Trey Thornton said. “From the first time I met him, his humor really stood out to me and the way that he helped us get on top of things and how his positiveness does not negate our learning.”

Strange hopes to make a positive impact on the percussion and hopes to help them succeed as much as he can. He has many goals from helping each student individually excel in their percussion skills as well as for the group to make accomplishments as a whole.

“My plans for the percussion program are to have Azle be recognized at the state and national level,” he said. “I also want to have each percussionist have a well-rounded experience where they feel successful on all the major percussion instruments. One of my biggest goals for the students before they leave Azle is learning how to work in a professional environment. Most importantly, I want the students to have fun and enjoy what they are doing. School can be very stressful and I want to make sure my impact on their lives is stress relieving. It should be fun to play music and play music at a high level as well. I would definitely say, my goal is to make sure everyone keeps a smile on their face and to enjoy each and every rehearsal and performance.”

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