ECHS hires new band director

Published 4:04 pm Sunday, July 1, 2012

If enthusiasm and optimism is any indication, it seems as if Escambia County High School is set to have an exciting year in the 2012-2013 school year.

Hayley Canterbury, a former resident of Atmore has been chosen to be the new director. She plans on meeting theĀ  band parents on July 10, and begin practice during the last week of July.


She has her work cut out for her. The band doesn’t have many members, but according to Canterbury, that means that there is no other direction to go but up.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We don’t have many members now, but that just means that we have plenty of room for new members,” Canterbury said. “When you are down, there’s no where to go but up. There’s music in everyone, we just have to get it out. Anyone that even has an idea they might be interested in being in the band can come out and join us. As soon as they do, they are a part of the band with the right to march with us. We have new uniforms this year, thanks to PCI, and if a student doesn’t have an instrument, we will find one for them. PCI has been very good to us. Not only did they see that we get new uniforms, they got us a bus to be able to attend band camp at Troy. I encourage anyone who is interested in playing in the band, to come join us. All we need is their desire to be part of this band, the rest will follow.”

Canterbury said that if anyone has an instrument at home and wants to donate it to the band, it will be appreciated.

“A child can be reached through music,” she said. “And if they are exposed to the music, beautiful things will come forth. I have seen it make all the difference in the world. I am looking forward to seeing present band members step up and mentor the new members. I want to work closely with middle school band directors so that when students come into high school, the transition won’t be too hard on them. This is going to be a building year, but I have no doubt that it will be a good year. I am glad to be coming home, back to this community. It means a lot to be able to come back home and work in my own community.”

Canterbury was raised in Atmore until her teens, going to Escambia Academy. She then finished high school at Flomaton High School in 2001. She attended Troy University and majored in music education and French. She then spent two years at Florida State University and received her master’s degree in music performance. After that she was able to study in Montreal, Canada, at the University of Montreal where she has completed two years of work toward her doctorate in music performance. Since then she has been band director at J.F. Shields and Jackson High School, before coming to Atmore.

“I am so excited to be able to come back to Atmore,” Canterbury said. “It’s good to be home again. It is going to take a lot of time to build this band, but I’m willing to give it all I’ve got and spend as much time as I need to help these students love their music while getting their education. I am going to give this all I’ve got. This is home and it’s got to be good.”

Canterbury has not been sitting idle since she got here. Not only is she making plans for the band at school, she has also joined the newly formed community band and is looking forward to the performances they have.