Tiger Band gains 2 new assistant directors

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Photo by Kayleigh Moreland

Photo llustration

Story by Katherine Stoeckl, staff writer

The Tiger Band welcomed incoming freshman, fresh music and two new band directors when summer practice began Aug. 3.

Head band director Arnie Lawson is aided by Steve Bennett, David Stuart, Kara Compton, and John Loanzon. In addition, John Killgo and Leslie Loanzon have joined the staff in replacement of Jay Sutton and Matt Morey.

Loanzon is a recent graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she majored in saxophone and oboe performance as well as music education. Loanzon taught elementary music at Trice Elementary and instrumental music at Parkway High School. She is married to fellow band director John Loanzon and has three children.

“I loved being in the LSU Tiger Band,” Loanzon said. “The pre-game that my husband and I performed for over 92,000 people is the same pre-game my mom preformed.”

Loanzon will be taking over the duties of Matt Morey, which include beginning band coordinator, beginning woodwind, music theory, and jazz teacher.

“I’m just excited to be [a part] of a great band program and am eager to learn the ropes,” Loanzon said. “I’ll be ready to lend my woodwind expertise whenever and wherever I can.”

John Killgo graduated from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he majored in instrumental music education. He will be fulfilling the duties of Jay Sutton, which include seventh grade band director and teaching the high school brass ensemble class. He will also assist with the eighth grade band and high school bands.

“One of my most memorable experiences while I was [at Henderson State University] was when I taught my first private lesson,’ Killgo said. “I’ll never forget how rewarding it was to see someone I taught succeed and eventually make it to All-State.”

John Killgo previously served two years as head band director at Gurdon High School.

“Being the one and only band director at my previous school, I feel like I know quite a bit about the in’s and out’s of a band program,” Killgo said. “I am excited to take the knowledge I gained from that school and and continue to grow and develop it here.”

Band members are looking forward to working with the new directors this season.
“So far, I would say that I’ve gotten along with the new band directors and that they have gotten along with the students,” senior drum major Elizabeth Colvin said. “I appreciate them being here, and I can’t wait to work more with them.”