New assistant band director makes impact

Andrew Haggerty, Reporter

Early this fall, assistant band director Paula Hacker resigned to take a position at a different school.

 Just this month, a replacement was found in Michael Richardson, and he’s already making a big impact on the program.

By employing new warm-up strategies, a new perspective and an extra pair of hands, Richardson is a much-needed resource for the band program in both band classes and marching band and winter guard competitions.

Richardson previously worked at Benton Central High School for nine years, and led bands ranging from sixth graders to seniors, in addition to four elementary schools. He led the marching band and winter guard, and headed everything relating to band at his former school.

Richardson says the primary reason he took the position is because his wife took a job at Southport, and at the time he wasn’t able to find a job here.

“When the opportunity became open here, it seemed like it made perfect sense,” Richardson says.

Richardson wants the band experience at Perry to be just as valuable, although it may look different from other powerhouse band programs.

He also plans to make a bigger impact upon the wind section because he’s a brass player himself. Since Mr. Vierling is a percussionist, he may have insights that Vierling does not.

Richardson’s goal for the program is to be able to give the same education through the band program as any other top school.

“I want our students to have the same opportunities as they would get anywhere else,” Richardson says.