His final note


Photo by Haley Rushing

Story by Ashley Tyson, Staff Writer

There’s a final squeak of music stands as they’re adjusted, and then an apprehensive silence. All eyes are trained on band director Buddy Deese, waiting for a single movement to start the B flat scale.
Each morning starts in this fashion, but come August, someone else will be filling the directing role as Deese recently announced his retirement.

“It was time,” Deese said. “Thirty-three years was plenty of time to get your teaching career in.”

Throughout his 33 years of teaching, 30 have been spent here as the director of the Tiger Band, where he said he has enjoyed working and interacting with students.

“The best part of being a band director is getting a chance to work with the students and be able to go and have performance opportunities,” Deese said.

The band students have developed a fond relationship with Deese.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for him,” sophomore Elisa Bridges said. “But, I’m also a little concerned about us, but he knows what’s best for us, so I know he’ll take care of us.”

Many will be sad to see him leave.

“I’ve been here for three years, and I’ve had Deese all three years, so it’s going to feel weird having a new person,” junior Dustin Briley said. “It won’t feel the same without Deese.”

With the announcement of his departure, rumors began to circulate that Deese applied for a position at Southern Arkansas University, but Deese says that’s not true. He’s not looking for any new position.

“If somebody approaches me about work, and I feel like working, I’ll work,” Deese said. “But, if I don’t, I won’t.”

As for finding his replacement, a job opening has been posted on the TISD website. Students are apprehensive about who will replace him.

“I’m really hoping for somebody who is a little intimidating, you know, somebody who can snap their fingers and keep us in line,” sophomore Nick Rose said. “But, at the same time, I want somebody that’s cool and will listen to our suggestions.”

Sophomore Morgan Williams said she hopes the new director will push them as much as Deese did.

“I hope that they hire a new director that will be as hard on us as Deese was since next year we have the opportunity to advance in marching competitions.

Even though his retirement will begin in June, Deese plans on keeping in touch.

“I’m excited and apprehensive about retirement,” Deese said. “It hasn’t soaked in all the way, but I know I’m going to keep very close tabs on the Tiger band.”