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New band leaders named at Liberty Tech

JACKSON, Tenn. – Members of the Liberty Tech Crusaders Band will march to a different beat this school year, as Dr. Janice Epperson, principal of Liberty Technology Magnet High School, names Joshua Hayes as Director of Bands. Hayes has served as music teacher at Andrew Jackson Elementary School for the past two years. “Leaving my kids at AJ was very difficult,” explained Hayes. “But my heart is on the field and in the concert hall. My heart is tr

uly in the world of band.”

Hayes says he looks forward to rebuilding the band program at Liberty Technology along with his new Assistant Band Director, Desmond Tarplin, who joined the District in the spring. “I believe the lack of consistency has hurt the program,” Hayes said. “I believe we can bring that consistency to the program because we both plan to be here for a while.”

“I hope we can build a comprehensive band program that teaches musicianship alongside responsibility, accountability, leadership and a strong work ethic,” added Tarplin. Also coming from the elementary-level, Tarplin previously spent three years as chorus director and music teacher at River’s Edge Elementary School in Fayetteville, Ga.

Two weeks of camp for the Liberty marching band is scheduled to begin July 16. “We’re setting the bar high right off the bat and putting in place a tradition of excellence and sticking to it,” stated Hayes. “We hope to bring something to the program that can be both entertaining for our Friday night crowds but also something challenging that will push our kids’ limits.”

Hayes believes what his students will learn in their time with him will go well beyond band. “Our students are learning to read, write, translate and interpret a different language in real time,” he said. “They learn to think critically on many different levels.” He said he also looks forward to competitions, often on college campuses, and the opportunities that can bring. “That exposure may serve as an influence for kids who normally wouldn’t think of college as an option.”

A native of Milan, Hayes, who plays the trumpet, French horn, guitar and didgeridoo, earned his Bachelor’s in Music Education from Bethel University and is working toward his Master’s. His wife, Camille, serves as vocal music teacher at Northeast Middle School.

Tarplin grew up in Ellenwood, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. He earned his Bachelor’s from the University of West Georgia and his Master’s from Valdosta State University. He enjoys playing percussion, piano, bass guitar, ukulele, saxophone and trumpet. His wife, Rebekah, serves as a music therapist.

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