Strike up the band

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

TRM hires new band director

Strike up the band; there’s a new leader in the house.

Brandon Cornutt has been tapped as the new T.R. Miller band director. On Monday, students experienced their first class with the new teacher.

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Cornutt, who has spent the last 14 years as the band director at St. Claire High School in Odenville, Ala., said he was drawn to Miller’s long-standing traditions of excellence and great community support.

“It’s hard to put into one sentence why we chose to come to Brewton,” Cornutt said. “We felt like it was the right move for our family.”

Cornutt and his wife have two children – a 4-year-old son with spina bifida and 6-year-old daughter.

“When you become a parent, you start looking at what’s best for the entire family, and when we visited, we knew that (Brewton) was a great place to call home,” he said.

Cornutt, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University and a master’s degree from the University of Alabama, comes from a musical family. At TRM, he hopes to grow the current band family and provide experiences that will last a lifetime for students.

“I thought that I wanted to be a composer when I was younger,” he said. “But, when I did my student teaching and was in front of the class, I knew that was where I was meant to be.”

Cornutt credits a “good ear” with his more than a decade success as a high school band director.

“(At St. Clair County) I was lucky to have a position where I was able to grow our numbers and create an outstanding music experience for my students,” he said. “That’s what I want to do at Miller. Music is what got me through high school and to college, so I want to give that opportunity to students here.

“I believe the band experience should be accessible to all students,” he said.

“I want to give the community a band program they can be proud of,” he said. “In the stands, what we want to do, is enhance the overall experience.

“At half time, we’re going to give the crowd a show they can get into on Friday night,” he said.

A reception will be held on Fri., May 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the central office.