New Face in the Band


Photo provided by SLHS Band

Over the past couple of years, the band has had many directors. Last year’s director, James McDonald, left to pursue a performing band career getting local gigs in Houston, and Brody Wadkins joins SLHS as the new Associate Director of the Band for the 2022-2023 school year.

Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wadkins grew up around teaching and music, thanks to his parents. That influenced his passion and likeness for music. His mother was a fifth-grade teacher, and his father was a band director for 28 years. 

“With my dad being a band director, I grew up around a band and especially marching bands out there,” Wadkins said. 

For almost four years during college, Wadkins worked with high school marching bands in Indiana. He taught marching band as a tech at Homestead High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Concordia Lutheran High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Wadkins then student-taught and taught marching band for Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana. Since Indiana and Texas have large band programs, he applied to many jobs in both states, which is how he landed in Texas and our school. 

“I wanted to work at a school that had a large program because that’s what I’m used to working with,” Wadkins said.

Under his instruction, as well as the other directors, the band’s show “See no evil, hear no evil” will be performed on Oct.1 at a competition. They began working on the show three weeks before school started. Pushing them musically, the band plays more complicated music than years before. 

“They’re accomplishing it well and working hard the entire time,”  Wadkins said. 

After working as DCI and a band tech for many years, Wadkins looks forward to being more involved with the band compared to years before during his career in teaching. Being a tech for marching bands didn’t leave him much time to experience many things with his students. When he taught at other schools after the season finished, life would retract to normal, and they wouldn’t spend much time together.

“I’m excited this year because, after watching this season, I see the kids and experience the rest of the school year instead of just disappearing at the end of March,” Wadkins said. “I got lucky to end up, especially as a first-year teacher at a program at this level. And I’m glad I have a group of kids that will work hard and push themselves as far as I’m willing to push them.”