DRUM MAJOR DISCUSSION: Chapman and drum major, Rachel Zhang, discuss the work of the band while percussionist, Samuel McClurg, prepares for the next piece. Alongside the victory from the Red Devils football team, The Sound of West Side also had a successful night. Chapman said, “ I thought [the students] did a really good job representing the band and the school in a positive way.”

Marine veteran and experienced band director Cory Chapman takes on teaching at West Side.

As a high school student, Chapman played percussion in his school’s band, which made him want to pursue a career in band. “Music has an ability to reach everybody at a certain level and I want to be able to share that with people,” said Chapman.  

He describes his style of teaching as firm but fair and respectful. “My favorite part of teaching high school students is being able to impact them and change their lives for the better,” said Chapman.

Along with directing the marching band, Chapman also teaches many different levels of band, including exploratory, intermediate, advanced band and instrumental ensemble. Something he likes about teaching at West Side is how willing the kids are to do their work. He said, “If they are told to do something, they just sort of make it happen.”

Prior to teaching at West Side, Chapman was a sergeant in the Marines, and his teaching style is something that he takes from his years in the service.  “I teach similar to the way I lead my marines,” he said. “I expect a lot from them and when they are not meeting my expectations they may hear about it, but I don’t want to be mean about it.” 

Mr. Chapman finds cultivating a family atmosphere important, as well as making sure that his students feel welcome and valued. He said, “I want to give [the students] opportunity to express themselves artistically and to express emotion in a way that’s healthy and vibrant.”

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