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CHHS welcomes band director

Charles Henderson High School rolled out the red carpet for Trent Burkett Monday night, and a large crowd turned out to welcome the new director of the Blue Machine Marching Band.

Burkett arrived in Troy in whirlwind fashion but was very appreciative of the welcome to Troy … the second time around.

The band director’s position was offered to him two days before his wedding and he was in Troy for the reception Monday just a few days after returning from his honeymoon.

“Everything has happened so fast that I really haven’t had time to make many plans,” Burkett said. “But I don’t have any intentions of making any big changes. I do have a few things running through my head. I’ll also get with some of the kids and ask them about their ideas on what they would like to do as far as halftime shows. They are the ones who do the work, so we might as well do something they enjoy.”

Burkett comes to CHHS from Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette where he was band director for six years. He has also directed bands at Luverne and Daleville.

“I’m from Century, Florida so Bay Minette was like home to me,” he said. “But so is Troy. I played in the Sound of the South Marching Band and received both my under graduate and my graduate degrees from Troy University so I’m happy to be coming back to Troy.”

Burkett said the type halftime show that his Blue Machine will present will be at the mercy of the level of the playing ability of the band members. But the halftime show will not vary much from what he has done in the past.

“I like to do music that the people in the stands know and relate to,” he said. “If they are tapping their toes and singing along, then we’ve got a show.”

Burkett will fill the band director’s position that was vacated by Amanda Ford when she accepted the position of band director at Charles Henderson Middle School.

David Helms, CHHS principal, said he is extremely pleased to have Burkett on the faculty of Charles Henderson High School.

“He comes to us highly qualified and highly recommended,” Helms said.

“He will be a great addition to our faculty and to our school.

“An interesting thing about Trent Burkett is that he was the assistant band director at Daleville when Amanda Ford was the director. So, they know each other and have worked together. Theirs will be a good working relationship that will benefit both schools.”

When Burkett interviewed for the band director’s position, Helms said he was told that the administration was extremely proud of the CHHS band and the direction it is headed.

“But we also told him that we wanted our band to get bigger and better,” Helms said.

‘I feel sure that he has ideas of his own that will continue to move the band forward. We have 80 band members, and we would like to see that number increase. And, the beauty of having Mr. Burkett here at CHHS and Mrs. Ford at CHMS is that they will complement each other.

“We know that the success of our band and athletic programs at Charles Henderson is tied to our middle school programs. That’s where the kids get the basics.

“I feel very good about the future of our band program. We are fortunate to have Mr. Burkett.”