Million Dollar Granger: LHS graduate to march in University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band

Published 9:30 am Friday, June 2, 2023

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LaGrange High graduate Reese Lester is looking forward to a new adventure as a member of the University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band.

Lester said after graduation he felt mixed emotions about the next step in his life.

“After graduating, I was really excited to know that I was starting a new chapter in my life, but I was also sad knowing that I wouldn’t be seeing a lot of my high school friends anymore since they will be off to a long distant college,” Lester said.

For four years, Lester lit up halftime and the stands as a tuba player.

As he gets ready to join the Alabama band, Lester said he plans to take the lessons taught by former band instructor, Dr. Jarrett Farrell, with him.

“Being in the LHS band for the past four years with Dr. Farrell has driven home the importance of music education and my well-being. When I play the tuba, I always feel a great sense of relaxation and happiness,” Lester said. “I feel like none of that would be possible without Dr. Farrell teaching me how to let loose more and to play loud with confidence and to not worry about mistakes as mistakes can be fixed with just a small adjustment.”

He said a key lesson he learned as a Granger is to not let one imperfect performance ruin a perfect season of music.

Getting into a college band is a bit different than joining one in high school. Lester said his experience was tamer than he expected.

“The process of getting into the band was not as crazy as I thought it would be. I was given two music pieces with two marching tempos to record myself in. I had five attempts to do the music and then choose the best attempt to submit,” Lester said.

“When I saw my acceptance letter to the UA band, I felt honored to be selected. I knew it was a great opportunity for me to be a part of such a large group of musicians who shared the same passion and interests as me.”

Lester said joining a much larger band will take some adjusting, but he is ready to take on the change.

“Seeing the number of people in the UA band was astonishing to me, but while most people would just see numbers, I was seeing a great number of friends and family ready to make my life in the University of Alabama a time I won’t forget,” Lester said.