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Band of the Week: Williamstown band director gives students new mindset and sound

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:12 PM EDT
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WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. (WTAP) - Williamstown High School is seeing a turning point in its band program thanks to third-year band director Jed Corra.

Corra says he’s giving the band a new mentality, as the band improves its sound and the students grow as a family.

“We’re growing; slowly. It’s not giant, it’s not massive. We’re not only growing in some numbers, but we’re growing in work ethic and musicianship. It’s like, the kids are more proud of what they’re doing and they’re working harder to do it,” says Corra.

The Williamstown band director says he has done everything he can to make the band into what it is now.

“Before we had him, it was kind of a messy organization we had. There wasn’t a lot of uniformity and a lot of effort,” says band drum major, Alison Gates. “And he really does just put in a lot of effort for us.”

Students say Corra has taken time and resources out of his personal life to help his band students.

“He does lessons for people who need the help. He spends all of his time working with us,” says Gates. “He set me up with one of his friends to do lessons, who actually was the drum major at WVU for three years. So, he’s actually really trying to help us become better as not only musicians but better people.”

Corra is even giving the band a chance to work together at band camp. Something many of them has never done before.

“I think it really brought everybody together,” says high brass section leader, Adam Hatcher. “Because of the amount of time that we’ve spent with each other. All of the moments that we see together. Especially when it comes to getting better and setting the show and the different milestones that will happen.”

And this is the type of mentality that the Pride of West Virginia alum wants to continue with his band.

“We want a band to be a family. We all want to work together,” says Corra. “We all want everybody to have a role and everybody work to help each other.”

The Pride of Williamstown will be playing the music from the James Bond films this year.

You can catch them playing at Warren High School as the Yellow Jackets go up against the Warriors.

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