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Cornutt leads TRM band

Brandon Cornutt is well-known to the band members at T.R. Miller High School. He and his family have been in Brewton for about three years where he serves as a teacher and the school band director.

“I grew up in Gadsden, attended Emma Sansom High School and graduated from there in 1993,” he said. “I played trumpet in the band and had big plans of becoming a well-known musician or composer. I just wanted to work in music, not necessarily direct it. I and several of my fellow musicians had a standing gig playing in a jazz group. It was fun and we were able to make a little college money.”

Cornutt received his bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State in 2002 and it was in college that his mind turned more to teaching.

“I appreciate music education for kids,” he said. “Craftsmanship is very important and I love to see my craft find young minds. They get to create something every day. All their classes aren’t like that.”

When Cornutt and his jazz friends were performing, he said they thought about turning professional, but reality set in and they all went their own way.

“When you are young, you think you can do anything, but there comes a time when you have to decide whether to just make it or find a career,” he said. “I had people praying for me to help me make the right decision.”

He returned to college at The University of Alabama, graduating in 2005 with a master’s degree and began his teaching career at Ranburne High School in Cleburne County and then Susan Moore High School in Blount County. He took a little break when his father became very ill, but he was soon back to teaching at St. Clair County High School, where he was band director and teacher for 11 years.

In 2003, Cornutt married Kasey, who was a choir director in Calhoun County. They are the parents of Emma (almost 9) and Andy, who is in the first grade.

“God worked it out for us,” he said. “We came to Brewton in 2016 and we’re very happy we came here. T.R. Miller is an excellent school and Brewton is a great place to live. My family is happy here and that’s what counts.

“We had some really Godly friends who prayed for us to find what we were looking for and we have found more Godly friends here in Brewton,” he added. “We are attending Brewton First Baptist Church and have found a lot of new friends.

“I say the band can’t get any better, but then they do,” he said. “We have about 85 members now and I would like to see it around 100, but the school isn’t as big as it used to be.”

It seems as if the band is doing very well. It has won Superior Trophies at all of the competitions, both the high school and middle school performed at the State Music Performance Assessment in Enterprise March 13, and both bands received Superior Ratings and they marched in the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chicago, Ill and Cornutt said they all had an absolute blast.

The band will soon have another feather in its cap. In April (24-28) they will march in the Fiesta Flambeau Parade in San Antonio, Texas. The parade will be nationally televised and is the “world’s largest illuminated nighttime parade.”