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LaGrange College kicks off band program

LHS grad spurs instrumental initiative

Natalie Turman

Daily News intern

LaGrange College marching band drum major Jalen Smith leads the band in practice at Callaway Stadium. Smith, a recent LaGrange High School graduate, helped spur the creation of the first band program in the college’s history, which kicked off this year.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_WEB0915LCBand011.jpgLaGrange College marching band drum major Jalen Smith leads the band in practice at Callaway Stadium. Smith, a recent LaGrange High School graduate, helped spur the creation of the first band program in the college’s history, which kicked off this year. Submitted
LaGrange College band performers practice at Callaway Stadium.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_WEB0915LCBand021.jpgLaGrange College band performers practice at Callaway Stadium. Submitted
LaGrange College band performers practice at Callaway Stadium.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_WEB0915LCBand031.jpgLaGrange College band performers practice at Callaway Stadium. Submitted

LaGRANGE — LaGrange College opened its 2015-2016 year by making history, introducing its new band program led by Band Director Josh Roberts and drum major Jalen Smith.

Smith put in motion the idea to create a band program. The program is the first in the college’s history.

“By being the first group, we get to set the tone for what it’s going to be in the future” said Smith, an alumnus of LaGrange High School.

The growing group currently holds 20 wind players but hopes to include majorettes and color guard in the next few years.

“I think we’re really going to bring more culture into the school, more enjoyment, more entertainment, and I think once we recruit a whole bunch of people it will be something that can be enjoyed even more. So I can’t wait for that,” said Gabriel Alexander, a freshman clarinet player who majors in law.

The band will perform at football games and other college events. Students around the campus will receive a heavy dose of school spirit as the band begins participating in different events. The students participating in the band are also learning positive life lessons from the experience.

“Band teaches you how to think of a group before you think of yourself, so it teaches you teamwork because, of course, when you’re on the field you think about what the group looks like, not just yourself or what the group sounds like, and not just what you sound like. So it teaches you teamwork and how to belong to a group,” said Smith.

The band program will consist of different sections including concert band and jazz band.

“I’m very excited to be here, and I’m very excited to be building the program. I just want to be very clear to everyone that it is a full, comprehensive band program, so the music department is growing and it’s a great time to be here,” said Roberts, who is currently working on his doctorate from the University of Georgia.

“It can become something really good for the whole community, not just the college,” said Smith. “If we work really hard, in a few years we’ll be surprised, we’ll be amazed at what it will turn into.”

Reach the LaGrange Daily News at 706-884-7311.