BROOKSVILLE — Parrott Middle School has a new band director.
After months of anticipation and worry that the program might fold, principal Brent Gaustad announced Tuesday that he has hired former Central High band director Luke Cramer, who had been let go from Central after the band and chorus program dissolved because of low enrollment.
Numerous parents had expressed concern about he future of Parrott's program and the negative impact it would have on Hernando High's band if it ended.
Gaustad said he had a difficult time filling the position because he also needed the person to double as a math teacher. Cramer, who accepted the job last week, fit the bill.
For this year, Cramer will teach two band classes — beginning and advanced — consisting of about 60 students. He will teach three periods of math.
Gaustad hopes to eventually make the band position full time.
Next school year, he said, he would like to add an intermediate band. Eventually, he also would like to add an introduction to music course and have Cramer work with Parrott's feeder elementary schools to build up their music programs to "regenerate enthusiasm in the grade schools."
Gaustad said Hernando High band instructor Joe Harrin was instrumental in the search for the Parrott director. Harrin served as the band instructor at both Hernando and Parrott during the 2013-14 school year, but said he would not be able to perform both duties for the coming school year because of a change in bell times at the schools.
Contact Danny Valentine at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.