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Local News

July 31, 2013

State recognizes DHS instructor Haas as school year’s top band director

DUNCAN — Jeramy Haas does his job because he enjoys it. Haas doesn’t expect an award for working with high school students or bringing music to the Duncan community.

Regardless, Haas, Duncan High School Band director, was recognized as the band director of the year by the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association. This is the first time he has received a state award, although he was named Southwest Oklahoma band director of the year in 1994.

“I was thrilled,” Haas said. “I was happy and surprised, shocked. There’s so many good directors in our state. Some of those guys have been doing it longer than I have. I look up to them.”

At the end of the 2012-13 season, the DHS Band won its fourth consecutive sweepstakes at state. Haas said the band is filled with students who are willing to work hard to make the band sound great.

And that’s one of the many things he enjoys about being at the Duncan High School.

Haas and his wife, Dawn, have been band directors for DHS for 10 years. This is his 27th year of being a band director, and he said he couldn’t see doing anything else.

“I’m still enjoying it,” he said. “I still love working with the kids.”

Dawn Haas has known about the award since April, and Jeramy Haas was surprised she was able to keep the secret as long as she did.

He said the award is as much a tribute to her contributions to the band as his own.

“She’s kind of my other set of ears when it comes to listening, to the band,” Jeramy Haas said. “She knows what I’m wanting, what level I’m shooting for. We’ve been teaching together for 15 to 16 years. We know what the other is expecting. This award goes to her just as much as it goes to me.”

The two Haas directors will soon be celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary. Their three children (Scott, Jessica and Joshua) were all in band this year, with Scott graduating at the end of the year and Jessica moving up in ranks as a drum major.

Jeramy Haas said he has enjoyed working with his students and his own kids.

“They’ve grown up doing this,” Haas said. “It’s been neat. They were part of the success of the band, too.”

He said he’s proud of his children and his students because all of them have a drive to succeed. He’s expecting more than 90 students to participate in the 2013-14 band season.

All band students will be back to the high school for practice and strengthening their marching skills by Monday. Percussion students will return earlier by kicking off their season Thursday.

Haas said he’s ready for another great year for the Duncan High School Band.

“It takes a b it of adjustment,” Haas said. “These guys have been out of playing for two months, and it’s been nine months since they were marching.

“We’ll go over the fundamentals of marching. We have freshmen who are new to marching. Most people don’t realize it’s a slow process.”

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