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Hard work, dedication earns fan-support for high school marching band

Members of the JCHS marching band perform
Thursday night at Paul McEwen Stadium.
Photo by Joey Icenhour.

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

Marching bands across the country work hard to give hometown fans something creative and musical. And, for a good reason.
Being a member of the high school marching band takes a lot of discipline and personal growth as an individual. It is also rewarding and fun for all involved.
Johnson County is fortunate to have a group of students who work hard every day to get everything right for their “production” on the field at the home games.
Isaac Saults is in his second year as band director. He graduated from ETSU and got his first job with Johnson County High School.
His new job experience was quite different from the usual first-year teaching job, as he entered during the beginning of COVID-19.
Due to the pandemic, he could not meet with his students.
Saults discussed how unusual it was to be right out of college during unprecedented times, “Nothing we were ever taught in school prepared us for this, but we got in there, and we continued to grow.”
Saults’ goal is to see this program continue to grow and flourish for years to come but expressed what really matters most when he said, “My focus is for the students to have a good quality sound. We may be low in numbers, but we want to be strong in sound when we are on the field.”
Senior Zachary Dillard is happy with Saults. Since he began playing for the JCHS band, he has been through three directors and feels “they got it right with Saults,” adding, “even during COVID, Saults has made band fun again.”
Dillard is the brass captain and enjoys mentoring the younger students, but wants people to know performing for the marching band is hard work, “it takes a lot of effort and dedication, and you have to be ready to put in the work.”
Saults appreciates Dillard’s leadership and work ethic. “Zachary does a great job in his role as student leader over the brass students,” he said.
He also appreciates the support from football fans, students, and faculty.
“It’s not just walking and blowing air into an instrument, he said. “People understand that it takes time
to build a strong band program, but these kids have improved leaps and
bounds. The band works hard. They meet every day and two days a week after school. I’m so proud of this group and what they have accomplished.”
The marching band also works with the cheerleaders to motivate the crowd, and of course, the marching band is responsible for one of the most important activities of the night, The National Anthem.
So, thank you to the
JCHS marching band for all you do to make the Friday Night football games even better.