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Auburn High School names new band director

Declining student participation led the Auburn School District this year to suspend Auburn High School's once high-stepping, award-winning marching band program.

But that may be about to change with the naming of Steve Anderson as the school's new band director.

Anderson brings 25 years of high school band director experience and professional experience to the program. He has been a band director at the middle school level, and before coming to Auburn spent 25 years as band director at Clearfield High School in Utah.

Anderson's years at Clearfield include a number of regional, state and national festival awards, a marching band and jazz ensemble, and a full curriculum of rigorous music classes, including AP music theory and IB Music. Anderson helped increase student participation in the program from 15 students to more than 220.

Doing things right, whether it's music or studies or just getting along with your neighbor, Anderson said, is the first lesson all band students will get under his leadership.

One of Anderson's immediate changes to the AHS Band program will be to develop two different bands — one intermediate, one advanced. He also plans to recruit students from the middle school program so that incoming ninth graders have a smooth transition into the high school program.

"This is a person that developed the Clearfield High School program, which is noted in Utah as being an extraordinary marching band, ensemble and the full meal deal for musicians, including something we're very interested in, which is advanced placement music theory," said Kip Herren, superintendent of the Auburn School District. "So we have him already working at Auburn High to get a head start on next year's program. And he'll be working with his feeder schools to really put effort into the development of marching band and all the other band programs."

The professional percussionist said he is committed to the growth and success of students at Auburn High School.

"Building a foundation centered on integrity, responsibility and ownership is critical to not only the success of the program but the growth of each student," Anderson said.

Anderson, who graduated from Brigham Young University with a music degree, is a studio musician and occasionally accepts freelance work on movie trailers and live events. In January, he returns to Utah to play percussion during the opening festivities of the Sundance Film Festival.

"Playing professionally helps me in the classroom. It keeps me fulfilled and allows me to pass along the experiences and skills to my students," Anderson said.

Anderson said he looks forward to becoming more involved in the Auburn community. He and his wife have two children and a 6-month-old granddaughter.

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