Music department welcomes new instrumental music director

Everett Shryock (staff) takes on orchestra, band
Everett Shryock (staff) works one-on-one with a student in his beginning band class. Beginning band teaches students the basics of band.
Everett Shryock (staff) works one-on-one with a student in his beginning band class. Beginning band teaches students the basics of band.
Leah Bacon

Everett Shryock (staff) is a first-year teacher at Windsor High School. Shryock has taken over the instrumental director position after it opened up last summer. 

“I’ve known about Windsor High School for a long time because I went to high school pretty close by so I’ve heard about them before and then I helped out last year so that’s really how I got to know the place a little bit better,” Shryock shared.

Before coming to WHS though, Shryock started teaching elsewhere.

 “I graduated in the fall of last year and then I took a job at an elementary school teaching elementary music… and now I’m here,” Shryock shared. 

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Everett Shryock (staff) instructs band members to move at the homecoming football game. Marching band stood in the stands and performed during the game, followed by a field performance at the end. (Leah Bacon)

Working with elementary music students is very different than working with high school music students. “Working with elementary kids presents lots of difficulties because they can’t really think for themselves at times, so you have to be really on top of your planning and what you’re telling them. I feel like with high school I can not be as harsh with everything that I need to say because they can think for themselves,” Shryock said. 

Joy Perry-Grice (12), the marching band drum major, has gotten to know Shryock through marching band. “Mr. Shryock is a very exciting teacher. He always makes sure to keep it fun and enjoyable for all of us. He’s super supportive and encouraging,” Perry-Grice said. Perry-Grice has been the drum major for two years and participated in band for all of high school.

Emma Johnson (12) has had the chance to work with Shryock through both marching band and orchestra.

Everett Shryock (staff) competes with students in a school pep assembly game. Shryock was selected to play in basketball musical chairs at the homecoming pep assembly. (Tristyn Bruning)

“He’s really fun and he definitely wants us to do good so he’s very passionate about performing arts and he likes seeing us get better and encourage each other,” Johnson said.

With any new person being brought in, new ideas arise. Shryock has brought many new ideas and energy to the music program. “I feel like he’s focused more on the competitive side of marching band for sure, and for orchestra he’s more involved in what we want to do,” Johnson continued. “He lets us have a say in the music and how we’re feeling.”

Shryock has adapted well to his new position despite a few challenges. However, orchestra is a new affair for him. “I took maybe a couple classes about orchestra in college because I mostly studied instrumental wind music, so that’s been a little challenging at times of learning the like, the lingo of what to say to them and all that kinda stuff, but we’re chugging along and we’re getting there,” Shryock said.

Shryock has invested a lot of time into the school’s marching band. Starting with helping out last year, he has worked hard with the marching band students. “I’d love to build it up where we have a lot more people. I’ve given a goal of having 100 people in the marching band and wanting to build it up to what it used to be,” Shryock said. 

The last time Windsor’s marching band won state was 2011. In 2009, the band was selected to play for President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade. Shryock hopes to work the band back up to the level they used to be.  

“He kinda just keeps us on our toes and he makes sure that we’re all trying our best and it’s kind of everyone putting in the same effort which makes it fun,” Perry-Grice said. 

Joy Perry-Grice (12) conducts the Windsor High School marching band during a class practice. Perry-Grice has been the drum major for two years now. (Lauren Huntsman)

As drum major, Perry-Grice has to work closely with Shryock. “As drum major, I conduct the band and it’s nice to work with Mr. Shryock because he used to be drum major in drum corps and in high school, so he has a lot of experience, and so I’ve learned a lot from him,” Perry-Grice said. 

Marching band puts in hours upon hours practicing together. “I think marching band really helps with developing relationships because we spend so much time outside of the class and I think you have to have that bond of being able to push your students but also have it be from a loving perspective,” Shryock said. 

The time involved certainly leads to improved relationships: “I definitely spend a lot of time with (Shryock). I mean, I see him every single day depending on how many hours (the band practices),” Perry-Grice said. 

Teachers have more of an impact in students’ lives than most people realize. The impact is big for Perry-Grice. “He’s helped me become much more confident in the person and the drum major that I am today.”

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