By: Ellen Graves
Bryan Herring has been named the new band director for the Pride of Ackerman band. Herring comes to Ackerman from Alice, Texas and is excited about working with the high school band students.
With 32 years of experience, Herring has worked at 5A high schools as well as colleges like Texas A&M. He also received his Master’s in Trombone Performance from the University of Mississippi.
A native of Canton, Herring is glad to be back in his home state.
“I had been through Ackerman a long time ago. My grandfather was actually very close friends with J.P. Coleman and my uncle was the chair of the Republican Party in Mississippi for years,” said Herring.
Herring spent eight years at the beginning of his career at Itawamba Community College and created the band camp program that hundreds of kids have attended over the years. He left ICC in 1984 to teach at McAllen High School in McAllen, TX where he was band director over 320 students.
Herring was also at Texas A&M for five years where he said they had a “wonderful, wonderful program.”
From there, Herring went to Delta State and stayed for two years. Then he moved to Alice, TX where he taught a high school band that ranked 11th in the state at state honor band competition.
“I was minding my own business in my garage last Thursday night when Ackerman’s principal called to tell me the job was available. He convinced me to take it and said be here Monday morning, so I was here,” said Herring.
“I was sort of looking for somewhere to go. This is home for me. I have a son who is an engineer in Vicksburg and my mom is in Tupelo,” said Herring when asked what convinced him to take the job.
Herring looks forward to helping the band become the best it can be and is impressed with the support the administration has shown so far.
“My philosophy is not not particularly enlightening—simply every kid ought to have the opportunity to play as well as they possibly can. And to achieve as much as they can, to succeed as much as they can, and that, I will try to give them. It may not be a way they are used to, but it will be a way that will work eventually,” said Herring.
Not only does Herring have high goals for the band but color guard instructor, Tina McLendon has high expectations for her flag girls.
“I want us to continue doing our very best and I want to instill in the girls a good work ethic and team work skills that will help them in life,” said McLendon.
This will be the first year that eighth graders will not be in the high school band. Eighth graders will have a class as the junior high band with the seventh graders.
As far as a theme show for this year, Herring is getting suggestions from other band directors he knows before he makes his final decision.
“I want the kids to have the opportunity to reach their full potential. If they give me 100%, they will do well,” said Herring.