The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

The student news site of Whitney High School in Rocklin, Calif.

Whitney Update

Mrs. Michelle Jamieson arrives as the new band teacher to take on the challenge of continuing the music program.

Photo by Natalie Deeble
During third period in the band room Aug. 28, Mrs. Michelle Jamieson conducts the band through “Ancient Airs and Dances.” Jamieson was hired to take over and redevelop the music program.

Ever since Mrs. Michelle Jamieson learned to play the trumpet in eighth grade, she knew she wanted to become a music teacher. Little did she know, she would be traveling the world to gain experience and knowledge throughout different schools and programs.

“I started teaching music in Iowa, [and] then I went to Australia for two years to do my student teaching. That was my first real job as a band director,” Jamieson said.

After her job, Jamieson came back to the United States to get her master’s degree at the University of Colorado in conducting, followed by a job in Fort Morgan, Colorado, then in Rochester, Minnesota. 

Now, after Mr. Kris Harper’s resignation, Jamieson came to the campus with a set plan involving changes she wishes to make to the program. One of her main hopes is to give all the music classes the same opportunities and make them more involved with one another.

“Right now, they’re in their separate little worlds. But I’m inviting students from separate classes, like choir kids can come and join winter percussion or Winter Guard, or the orchestra members can come and join us at football games — I’m trying to do some cross collaboration. I don’t want them to limit or isolate themselves when they could be having fun in other places. My main goal is to give students a solid musical foundation. So, when they leave Whitney, they could go do whatever they want,” Jamieson said. 

Jazz band student Stella Wingfield has been involved with music ever since her grandmother introduced it to her as a kid. Now, she is experiencing a new way of improving and developing as a performer with the help of Jamieson as her teacher.

“She’s been asking us to practice different parts than what Harper had us focusing on. She will be a very good influence for our band, and I think it’s definitely all for the better,” Wingfield said. 

One of the major adjustments Jamieson is making to differentiate this year’s music program from last year’s is the removal of the marching band’s competition season.

“The marching band isn’t having a season this year so that it can focus less on competitions and more on building its membership and supporting the school by attending athletic events such as the football and X-factor games,” Jamieson said. 

Although Jamieson implanted these changes for the benefit of the musical program, students involved have had to accept and adapt to them. 

“Like most people in marching band, I’m disappointed that we can’t have a season because the most fun part of joining is the marching season. However, I am excited to have a larger pep band to play at football games because it makes them more enjoyable,” Declan Kingery said. 

Even though they will not be competing against other schools, the marching band will still play on several occasions. Their next performance will take place Sept. 1 at the football game against Clovis. 

Jamieson said, “The orchestra, choir and jazz band have concerts in the fall and in the spring, so those are their main events, which I’m hoping will represent Whitney in the larger community. The marching band is the main focus for that because you see us at football games and the Chili & Cool Cars event on Sept. 15, but I’m hoping to give that experience to the symphonic and concert band as well because all band students should have those fun experiences.”


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