A new band director with artistic vision, authenticity, and involvement was welcomed to North Idaho College this fall.
Bryan Hannaford, formerly from Cleveland, Ohio, was brought to Coeur d’Alene by a teaching opportunity at NIC. With Survey of Music, Pep Band, Jazz Band, and Wind Symphony Ensemble as his four areas of focus, Hannaford has one major goal: put out awesome music.
It was his first time ever coming to a school with an established program and solid foundation. Hannaford came for something new and different because in previous years he was either rebuilding a program or starting anew.
“This place already had something going,” Hannaford said. “There’s such a supportive community here and I instantly knew it was a good place. I moved here because I knew I could conduct what I wanted to conduct.”
Hannaford’s Jazz Band has a mix of local professionals and students, so he got to pick any chart of music with any level of difficulty and they were able to play it.
“I couldn’t believe the things we were doing already after one rehearsal,” Hannaford said. “I think we can handle anything.”
For Pep Band, Hannaford’s priority was to update the music to more recent pop songs.
The biggest change, however, came when Hannaford had all his students audition for the Wind Symphony Ensemble.
“The goal was to get to know everybody on an individual level,” Hannaford said. “Not just in the way they play, but personally.”
Hannaford had the chance get to know his new students, which allowed him the opportunity to buy music based upon the talents and capabilities of his group. With Wind Symphony, he wanted to bring the newest music possible with the newest composers.
Hannaford’s passion for teaching is clear when he broaches the subject of helping others. He said there is music inside everyone. Everybody knows about music and everybody has music in their soul, it is just a matter of connecting the gaps between what one person knows and what they don’t know. Hannaford keeps that in mind especially when teaching Survey of Music. He tries to compare differences between composers and close gaps between generations.
“I love talking about the social context of music, “Hannaford said. “If you want to make it, you have to challenge the status quo. Everyone is trying to be a little different, and that’s why music can start riots and wars.”