By Henry Clark
Bradley Crowe walks into the band room and commands the space with a gentle authority as he sets up the band while the students chatter with excitement. He laughs warmly with a student as they talk about their summer events. With the band set up he eloquently raises his arms into the air and with a flip of his wrists the band begins to play.
Crowe moved to Ketchikan this summer to fill the role as the new Band Director at Kayhi.
Originally from Oklahoma, Crowe moved to Ketchikan from Atsugi, Japan, and worked on a military base there as a K-6 music teacher. When it comes to differences in Japanese and Alaskan culture, Crowe said he loved Ketchikan’s scenery. “The nature here is different and really cool,” said Crowe. “The first day we (Him and his wife) woke up we went out to rotary beach at 7 a.m. and just enjoyed looking out on the water, it was something new and different.”
Crowe said he looks forward to playing beautiful music with the Kayhi bands this year. “What I like most about teaching at the highschool level is the depth and quality of music that we can make together,” said Crowe. “Teaching at this level allows me to relate to you guys and we can all have a meaningful musical experience as we connect with music together.”
When it comes to playing music, Crowe said he has the band using PPE while playing and that he has spread out his classes for social distancing.
“Band with Covid is not easy, so we are wearing masks while we play instruments as a preventative measure and we’ve ordered more PPE for the safety of band students,” said Crowe. “The biggest adjustment that we’ve made is to our schedule as a band, so we broke the classes up into instrument families, Brass, Woodwinds and Percussion, rather than being all together.” Some of the new band PPE includes brass bell covers that prevent direct spray from coming out of the bells and nylon bags for the woodwinds that will consolidate the spit that comes out of the keys.
Crowe said that the Bands will still have performances.
“We will perform concerts, like normal, in the auditorium and the main difference is that we will be socially disianced,” said Crowe. “We may have to live stream our concerts rather than have a live audience in house.”
The concerts will feature the families playing individually (Brass, Woodwind and Percussion families all playing separately) as well as full band pieces with all three of the classes combined.
With the concerts happening, Crowe said that the Pep Band will also be playing as much as possible on the court with basketball this upcoming season.
“We will do Pep Band to the fullest extent we possibly can, that being said, we have to make sure that our band members, the audience members, the fans and the basketball players are all as safe as possible,” said Crowe. “We are still waiting word on what basketball games are going to look like and more information will be available when I can provide it.”