James Byrn

Bunker Hill, IN - After directing band for 22 years for Caston School Corporation, James Byrn has made an exciting move to Maconaquah Schools.

“I really enjoyed my time at Caston,” says Byrn, “but I am excited to plant my roots at Maconaquah to learn their traditions while adding my own touch to a growing program.”

One of the first jobs on his to-do list is to form relationships with the students. “I think the biggest thing I’m looking forward to is establishing new relationships. It's simple things like standing in the hallway and talking to students during passing periods. I want the kids to feel comfortable with me and the program I’m taking over,” says Byrn.

James wants to get students excited about joining band. He also wants kids to know that they can join at any level. Just because a student didn’t participate in middle school doesn’t mean they can’t join in high school. The High School band will be graduating 6 very dedicated seniors this year, so he wants students to be eager to fill those spots.

Another thing on his to-do list is implementing the Exploratory Band at the elementary school. This is a program that will involve all 5th-grade students. Students will start the year going through the instrument families with a goal to begin hands-on experience playing the instruments by February. The students will then perform to an audience on May 14th to showcase what they’ve learned through the course of the year.

“Early involvement is important when growing a program. Giving students hands-on experience at the elementary level will help them better decide if the band program is right for them as they move on to 6th grade,” says Byrn.

As far as community support opportunities, the band will be performing at the Summer Showcase in Kokomo on August 24th. The school, students, and new director hope to see the community come out and support them as they transition into this new year with James on board.