New Knoxville Band

Staff photo/Eric Adams
Staff Writer

This is a continuation of the New Knoxville Band story, which appeared in the Oct. 6 edition of The Evening Leader. A video of the band is also available on this website.

The feedback students receive from judges at large group contest — many of whom are retired directors with 30-plus years of experience — is one of the most powerful forms of validation for hours of hard work, Canan said.
“We do the concerts here at the school — the fall and winter and spring concerts — and they hear that from the parents: ‘It was amazing, you were fantastic,’ but that’s what they expect to hear from parents,” he said. “What I wanted was for them to hear it from people who have forgotten more about teaching band than I know already — to get some real feedback as far as their ability level and where they are as a group.”
Other performances the band plays throughout the year include the Celina Lakefest parade, the St. Marys SummerFest parade, the Bremenfest parade, the Coldwater Community Picnic parade, the New Knoxville Historical Society fall open house, as well as pep band performances during New Knoxville High School basketball games. Having a membership of less than three dozen does present some challenges and drawbacks, but directing a band in a close-knit community like New Knoxville is undoubtedly a massive advantage, Canan said, noting he has enjoyed unwavering support from the community and from school administrators.
One shining example of that support came when the director approached Superintendent Kim Waterman and former Treasurer Cathy Doseck with a five-year, $7,700 proposal to purchase badly needed instruments, cases, stands and drum harnesses. Rather than spread the purchases out over five years as Canan had proposed, Waterman and Doseck happily fast-tracked the investment.
“They were amazing and told me to basically start ordering stuff and gave me all of it right then,” he said. “With the way the public school system is going, budgets are being brought tighter and tighter so for that to happen, it really did blow me away. I think they’ve seen the band grow a lot in the last several years, and not just in size but also in musicianship and ability level, and performance quality. It was really great to feel that sense of appreciation through their generosity.”