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History

The band tradition at Park Hill High School is a source of great pride for our school and community.  This tradition was built by maintaining a standard of excellence in each performing ensemble at Park Hill High School.  You are now a part of that tradition.  As a member of the Trojan Bands, you will be expected to strive for excellence by giving your best effort in your daily practice, ensemble rehearsal, and performance. It is by doing this that we all stake a claim in the proud history of the Park Hill Band program.  

 

We are what we repeatedly do. 

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

-Aristotle

 

Section 1:   A Brief History of Park Hill High School Bands

 

                For over 40 years, Park Hill Bands have represented excellence in music-making and a first-class approach to all activities.  In its proud history, the band has been involved in performances at the local, state, regional, and national level.   In 1959, William G. Mack became Director of Bands and led the program to prominence throughout the region.  During his tenure, the band earned accolades in marching and concert performance.  In the early 70’s, the Marching Band retired the Sweepstakes Trophy at the CMC Band Day by winning 1st place three straight years.  The Symphonic Band performed in 1976 at the Nebraska Bandmasters Association Convention in Lincoln. 

 

Herman Rekittke, Assistant Director of Bands, took over the program in 1977, when Mr. Mack took a position as Director of Bands at MWSC in St. Joseph.  The band upheld its musical traditions under Rekittke’s leadership and tutelage.  In 1976, Mike Everman joined the PH Band staff as an additional Assistant Director of Bands and led the Concert Band to consistent honor ‘I’ ratings at the state music festival.  Upon the retirement of Mr. Rekittke, Steve Lenhert joined the staff and built the jazz program, leading the Jazz Band to top ratings and rankings in festivals throughout the region.  In 1996, following the retirement of Lenhert, Charles Boyd took over the jazz program and continued to build upon the tradition of jazz excellence.  Mr. Boyd currently serves as Assistant Director of Bands at Park Hill South, leading the Concert Band and Jazz Band.  Eric Blankenship was Assistant Director of Bands from 1998-2002.  His tenure brought a high level of energy and excitement in the Jazz Band and an appearance at PHHS by jazz trumpet legend, Maynard Ferguson.

 

In 1984, John Bell was named Director of Bands.  From 1984-1998, the Symphonic Band earned accolades for its meticulous clarity and mastery of literature at the highest levels of difficulty.  In 1992, the Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois.  Through Mr. Bell’s tenure, the band performed at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention in 1986, 1992, and 1996 and appeared at the Music Educators National Conference held in Kansas City in 1994.  The band also appeared in the HBO movie, “Truman”.  In 1997, the PH Band attended the International Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.  Mr. Bell is currently Director of Bands at Northwest Missouri State University. 

 

When the Park Hill School District opened a second high school in 1998, Ann Goodwin became the sixth Director of Bands in the 50-year history of Park Hill High School.  Students at both PH and PH South embraced the challenge of maintaining excellence in a program which was going through the emotional hardship of enduring a split after years of tradition.  In 1999, the Trojan ‘Pride’ Marching Band placed 2nd at the MWSC ‘Tournament of Champions’, its first field show competition in over ten years.  The Marching Band continues to compete and place and both field and parade competitions.  The band performed at the inauguration of new Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes in 1999, and the grand re-opening of Union Station in 2000.  In 2002, the Symphonic Band was selected to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association Convention.  The Trojan ‘Pride’ Marching Band was honored to perform as a part of the National WWII Memorial Dedication Parade in Washington, D.C. in May, 2004.  

 

Ky Hascall became Associate Director of Bands in 2002, bringing experience not only as a teacher, conductor and clinician but as a composer whose works have been performed throughout the Midwest.  Mr. Hascall became the seventh Director of Bands in 2006, with Mrs. Goodwin Clark moving on to a new roll as full-time mother.  To complete the new staff for the 2006-2007 school year, Justin Doss was hired.  He brought with him a wealth of knowledge, including a high level of marching experience from six years with the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps.

 

In 2013, David Potter was hired to be the associate director of bands.  Mr. Potter brought a strong back ground in teaching woodwind technique.  He was the director of bands in Lawson, MO for 9 years.  He also teaches private saxophone lesson to many area students.
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