Leading the band

Published 11:49 am Wednesday, September 13, 2006

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
School days have been in session for a month and many changes have taken place since the students were together.
One change at Brewton Middle School was the retirement of band director, Russ Haag, and the hiring of his replacement, James Holmes.
When it became known that there would be a need for a new band director, Carl Major, the TRM band director, was ready with a suggestion on who to hire. He remembered working with Holmes during the band camps in the summertime and felt like he would be just the man for the job. Holmes, along with several other applicants, was interviewed and Homes was given the job.
It's important that the band directors for the middle school and high school work well together. A high school band depends on the middle school band for their future members.
Holmes was already familiar with the students at T.R. Miller, having worked at band camps with them ever since Major came to Brewton. He has participated in several work band camps in the summertime throughout the southeast.
Major has a mutual respect for Holmes and looks forward to them working together.
Holmes was born in Bremerhaven, Germany while his father was serving in the U.S. Army. He has one sister and three brothers and the family traveled around a lot before settling down at Fort Rucker.
He grew up in Ozark and attended the city schools including Carroll High School, graduating in 1997. He played the trumpet in the school band, became the band captain and was voted the most dependable.
While he was at college he served as section leader and band officer. He also played in the jazz and symphony bands.
He did his internship at Daleville High School.
After graduation, he took a job with Houston Academy in Dothan. He stayed there four years and built the program from 12 people to 52 people. He took the band to district festivals where they earned superior ratings and had numerous all-state winners.
He hasn't given up his musical instrument of choice. He continues to play his trumpet and has played with the Music South Symphony in Dothan, the North Florida Symphony in Oklaloosa County and even now fills in when he is needed.
He played with the Moonlighters, a jazz band in Dothan, and the Dothan Community Band in 2005-2006.
Holmes was married as a sophomore in college and was divorced in his first year of teaching. He and his wife had a son, Allen, who is seven and attends Houston Academy in Dothan. Holmes loves to work on his own music when he has the time, but his favorite times are spent with his son.
He and Major, along with Ann Peevy, and Major's wife, Amanda, work together on the routines that are being used this year.
It seems as if the new band director at Brewton Middle School has found a lot of support in Brewton.

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