Although he hasn't even been officially welcomed to the school system yet, Jorge Ayala found himself providing lots of instruction last week.
Ayala, the new band director at Rising Sun High, led five eight-hour days of band camp. He had to condense the typically two-week camp into a week.
"I have to fulfill my obligations," said Ayala. Those responsibilities include attending the new teacher orientation and training provided by the school system.
The eight hour band camp day included working on music indoors early in the day before heading out to the stadium for marching and formation practice. The Tiger Band will pay tribute to composer John Williams with the "Great Moments in Cinema" marching performance. The musical selections include the themes from Star Wars, E.T., and Star Trek. "They are things people know," said Ayala.
The band, including the band front, will be about 70 members this year. "We have a lot of underclassmen. We have experience and we're building for the future at the same time," he said.
Ayala may be new to the school, but he is familiar with the area. He attended Rising Sun Elementary School as well as Perryville middle and high. He graduated from Perryville High in 2005. He worked as a professional musician playing trumpet in the D.C. and Baltimore areas. He graduated from Towson University with an education degree this year.
The Tiger Band will also compete against one directed by one of Ayala's role models. Jill Welsheimer, who directs the Perryville High Band, was his mentor. "I was in her first band that won a state title. We still have a great relationship. She is like my mother," said Ayala.
"This is a lot of fun. It's like a dream job. This is what everyone wants coming out of college," he said.