The Jasper City Board of Education has approved funding to help Jasper High School's band, which is reportedly the largest in school history.The school board voted last Thursday to give just over …
The Jasper City Board of Education has approved funding to help Jasper High School's band, which is reportedly the largest in school history.
The school board voted last Thursday to give just over $45,000 to the band in order to purchase new instruments.
Superintendent Dr. Ann Jackson explained that large instruments need to be purchased to accommodate the band's growth. Such instruments are school property and utilized in the band program for many years.
"There are just some big instruments that we either don't have enough of or we don't have at all for our students to play," Jackson said.
Band Director Jason Lipscomb said the band will be purchasing tubas, baritones and other instruments that can be costly. For example, he says one tuba can cost at least $8,000.
"We were in a position where we really needed some help getting these instruments, and Dr. Jackson and the board stepped in and really helped us," Lipscomb said. "It's made a huge, huge difference, and it's something we couldn't have done without their help."
Lipscomb said the school's band has grown across the board with musicians, color guard and danceline participants. Nearly 200 students will be part of the 2019-20 band, compared to an estimated 155 last year.
Like other school bands across the county, Jasper High's band will hold band camp next week to prepare for marching and competitions. The band performed well in competitions last year and was named Class 5A State Champion at the Alabama State Marching Championships in Muscle Shoals.
The band received superior ratings at other events as well, and the danceline and color guard were named Best in Class at competitions.
When asked what ambitions Lipscomb has for this year's band, he said the focus is simply on improving skill and enjoying the process.
"We'll just take it one day at a time and make sure that every student is successful. We want improvement every day," he said. "Everybody's going to have fun and work hard."
Jackson said she is happy the school board could help the band. In fact, the board also funded a director's tower for the band a few months ago, which will help Lipscomb observe the growing group of students.
"We're happy to help promote our band. Our band has such great ambassadors for our school," Jackson said. "We want to support our band and help them accomplish great things because our kids are proud of what they're doing, and we're proud of what they're doing."
"Not everywhere gets the same kind of support that we're getting," Lipscomb said, "so it's obvious that Dr. Jackson and the board does really care about the students."
In other business, the school board approved the hire of Rebecca Good as assistant principal at Maddox Intermediate School. "She comes to us with 12 years experience as an assistant principal. She's a seasoned educator," Jackson said.