BY NATALY VASQUEZ
Christopher Scurries is the new band director for Imperial High School and is passionately determined to be part of one of the best bands in the Imperial Valley. It is also his first time living in the Imperial Valley. He feels extremely welcomed by everyone in the school district and also by the community.
Scurries is originally from Modesto, California and was in marching band in high school. He attended the California State University at Fresno to pursue his dream of becoming a band director. While at Cal State Fresno, he was part of the marching band and drum-line. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. He received his masters degree in Music Performance from Cal State Fresno. In 2013, he was hired as a graduate assistant in the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band to work with the front ensemble.
Ever since he was 17, Scurries wanted to be a band director. After working as a graduate assistant, he began applying for band positions, but Imperial High contacted him and offered him a position. He had never visited the Imperial County before and now he is happy to be here, especially because administration has been good to him. “What pushed me to pick this place was administration. What they wanted out of the band and what I wanted in a band-was really compatible,” he said.
On July 31, 2017, approximately ten band students showed up to summer band camp. However, there are a total of 134 students, who have experienced positive changes with the new band director. Scurries has not taken away any band traditions and does not plan to; instead he wants to keep adding. He has a certain way of doing things like adding a number of pep tunes during the football games. His signature tune is “Light Them Up”. The band students enjoy playing it repeatedly. He was very thrilled when they played at the Imperial’s first football game of the season.
Overall, the band students did well and brought a lot of energy and life to the football game. One of the things Scurries learned at Cal State Fresno was how to engage the crowd with the band. It keeps everyone in the game-punctuating each moment. This means that the band students will know exactly what to play during the game.
The band students work very hard, and they put many hours of work in even before school starts. Most band students have a schedule of 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and that is dedication.
“I want to keep the tradition of excellence alive and keep it going,” Scurries pointed out. He expects his students to be committed because he has high expectations. It is important for him that the students have the proper tool to move on after high school so they can continue to play in college.
“Being a marching band director is a young man’s job, and it is a hard thing to do. This is my life. For a band director, band has to be your life and you have to love doing it. It is not for everyone, but I am
happy to be doing it,” he concluded.