Q&A: Mr. Nelson, Arts


Mr. Nelson, arts, analyzes the band’s music. Nelson is in charge of the marching band program.

Emily Pederson

Q: What are your expectations for this year’s band?

A: My biggest expectation is that every student tries harder every day, so we’re building on what we learned the day before.

Q: What do you like most about Lake Central’s band?

A: Marching band is like a second family because we spend so much time putting together a product. I work with a team of people that design the show we perform, so seeing it all come together [into] something that’s creative and exciting for people is awesome.

Q: What are your responsibilities as band director?

A: My job is to coordinate all the people that write the music and the body movements, as well as coordinate all the staff that we have working the band. I’m making sure that every person knows exactly what part we’re working for the day. I’m also out helping, teaching and running rehearsals.

Q: What instruments did you play as a child?

A:I got my first drumset when I was five years old, so I’ve been playing drums for a long time.

Q: What are you most excited about this year?

A:I’m excited for a fresh start and to get going on the new school year. We have a new team of people, [including] an assistant band director, the color guard director, staff members and a lot of students.

Q: How often does the band practice?

A: We have sectional [practices] on Tuesdays, so we have percussion work for half the time, and the brass and woodwinds for part of the time. We practice all together on Wednesday, Thursday and [on Fridays] if there is a football game. We have competitions on Saturdays.

Q: What competitions does the band compete at?

A: We have three sets of competitions [including] invitationals, which are at high schools. Sept. 10 is our first competition at Lafayette Jefferson High School. We then go to Penn High School and the Lincolnway Competitions; we start our state qualifications level called ISSMA in October. We have regionals, semi-state and state, and we also compete on the national level at the Bands of America Grand National Regionals and Championships.

Q: Why did you choose to pursue the band directing?

A:I started as a percussionist, and I went through a lot of directors in a short amount of time.. I had four different band directors in four years, and some of them made huge impacts on me, and some of the didn’t. A lot of us as students had to help [other students] because we didn’t have a constant, consistent education, so I found I really enjoyed helping people. I wanted people to always feel like they had someone in their corner, someone willing to help them learn.