Reagan Brumley is concerned about the health of his musicians’ ears.
Brumley, the band director at Highland Park High School, was one of the educators who spoke to Highland Park ISD trustees on Tuesday evening. The school board also heard from HPHS principal Walter Kelly, HPHS librarian Abby Harrison, and Highland Park Middle School/McCulloch Intermediate School principal Laurie Hitzelberger, all of whom discussed what they hope to see realized by the district’s master facilities plan.
Brumley said the Highlander Band has 140 members this year, and the Highlander Strings orchestra has 100 musicians. They rehearse in a room that was built in 1998, when the band’s membership was 45 and the orchestra’s was even smaller.
“As of last school year, it became impossible to rehearse the full marching band in one room,” Brumley said. “It can’t be done.”
He also said that the band hall is very “wet,” meaning that the time it takes for sound to stop reverberating there is longer than ideal.
“There’s some health concerns there because of the sheer decibel levels and the acoustics in the room,” Brumley said.
Brumley would love to get 10 to 12 sound-proof studio rooms for individual instruction. The high school has four such rooms now.
“We’re really behind the curve here,” trustee Joe Taylor said of the high school’s music facilities.
Taylor and his colleagues will hear from the four elementary principals on Jan. 21.