Mr. Ballard, the talented new student teacher for the Bands, stands beside the LRHS Bands banner. Ballard will be staying with the band throughout the winter and making sure they have a good start to the new year. (Photo courtesy of John Thornton)
On August 26, Walker Ballard officially joined the Pride Bands as the new student teacher. He will assist the bands and Ms. Montgomery, the director, with managing the students and giving help to anyone who needs it. Ballard will graduate from Appalachian State University in December.
For 2 years of high school, Ballard was a drum major. Drum Majors direct the marching band– an important job. “Drum Major was cool and beneficial, but I really wanted to be playing music,” said Ballard.
“I think that’s something that I’m still trying to learn…delegating tasks to other people, so having really good student leadership,” said Ballard, “We almost didn’t even see the band director that often at the university level.” Delegation is critical when managing a band that has many members.
Beyond music, Ballard has other hobbies that he focuses on as well. “It’s important to be well-rounded and just try not to spend all of your time– this is strange advice– but I really think not spending all of your time on music and trying to do other things is really important,” said Ballard. Ballard spent 7 months abroad in multiple European countries to achieve his German major; music was not Ballard’s main focus in Europe.
Leesville High is still a learning experience for Ballard. “I think it’s a lot of what the Leesville Band can bring to me.” The band will benefit from Ballard being there at every practice; learning from Ms. Montgomery and from what happens at practices will give Ballard what he needs to move on in his career as a music educator. “I hope to bring different energy… to try to encourage people to have fun, [but] do their work when they need to be on task.”