Members of the Hayes High School Marching Band and the community met the band’s new director last week after he was hired by the Delaware City Schools Board of Education.
The concert and marching bands’ new director, Bill Fowles, introduced himself and his family at an event at Hayes High School on June 7. Fowles said he took part in marching band during his high school years in New Philadelphia and enjoyed the experience.
“We were competitive and traveled all over the state and the country,” Fowles said. “I got to do a lot of really awesome things there.”
Fowles said he attended the Conservatory of Music at Baldwin Wallace University, which did not have a marching band at the time. Instead, he volunteered with the New Philadelphia High School Marching Band during his summer breaks.
For the last 15 years, Fowles has been the marching band director at Madison High School in Mansfield.
“We were more of a show-style band (in Mansfield,)” Fowles said. “I’ve been heavily involved with marching band, and I love what Delaware has done here and hope to continue the excellence they’ve had here over the last several years.”
Fowles said he and his wife first came to Delaware 13 years ago when they were trying to find a home located between his and his wife’s job. They eventually settled on Delaware being that it’s halfway between Columbus and Mansfield.
“From the first time we walked through the downtown area we fell in love and knew we wanted to place our roots here,” Fowles said. “The community here is super supportive of the arts. It’s a great place. We’re raising our two girls here, and I’m looking to doing some great things for sure.”
The band won’t begin practicing until later this month when members come together to prepare for the Fourth of July parade.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting in there and working with the kids and seeing what they can do,” Fowles said. “I know they can do great things, and I’m looking to getting hands on. We’re looking to continue to be out in the community as much as possible with parades and (festivals). We’re going to continue to be doing competitions and hopefully qualify for marching band finals. Then we’ll transition to concert season and hopefully have a successful season there as well.”
Fowles said this season’s marching band show will be music from The Beatles, and he’s excited to perform some of group’s iconic songs.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to do a marching band show based around their music because it’s just so quality,” Fowles said. “We’re doing some songs from The Beatles, and we’re going to have some fun.”
After meeting band members and the community, Fowles said the event went “really well.”
“It’s always really nerve-wracking at first to meet everybody, but I was very pleased,” he said. “I explained what my vision was as far as what I wanted to do, and I introduced show theme which I feel went over really well. It was nice to see all that parental support.”
The band will practice July 25-29 before band camp kicks off Aug. 1. The band will perform for the first time under Fowles’ leadership on Band Preview/Parent’s Night on Aug. 12.
“I’m really excited to be here in Delaware,” Fowles said. “I’m looking forward to continuing the excellence this program has had and see how I can put my spin on some things and take it further.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.