my dad has been a band director for most of my life. except for two stints working for music stores and one as a fundraiser, he has always been a well respected member of the Texas band directing community. he has had many award winning bands and has even made 4 appearances at the State Marching Band contest. as long as i can remember, i wanted to be like my dad.
here is where pride enters the picture. i went to school, majored in music and became a band director. and i was tired of being my father’s son. i wanted people to say that he was Chuck Harris’ dad. the only way to do that was to surpass him. now he had no problem with me being successful. he encouraged me to work hard and be the best, but it consumed me. his second place finish at the State contest could only be topped by a 1st place finish. his many award winning bands could only be surpassed by more awards. so i stepped on kids, parents, my own family to try and succeed at this. never made it. had several bands that were award winning. a few that advanced, but not the success that my dad had, in fact towards the end of my band career, i had to step back and reassess why i was doing what i was doing. i began to look at other things. my dad had gone to schools with ferocious band programs. the kids were driven to win and when they finished High School, most of them were so burned out, they never picked up an instrument again. many of my students went on to play in college bands and some were even music majors. i just found out this week that three of my former students are PhD candidates in their chosen fields.
that all being said. i hope that my former students see that i am proud to be Bryant Harris’ son, and that if they gave their best, that was all i asked for. i’m so proud of their accomplishments and am glad i got to teach for all of those years. i hope that i left more than a musical legacy for them. i know my dad has.
have a great day