RHS band takes new 'direction'
Melissa Cason, Franklin County Times
The RHS band is headed in a new direction as its longtime associate band director takes over the reigns this fall as Director of Bands.
Gary McNutt has been apart of the RHS Marching Hundred family since 1987, when he began consulting with George Crummie about the band. He was hired in 1992 as associate band director.
But Effective July 1, McNutt was given full control of the group he's dedicated the last 20 years of his life to.
"I appreciate Dr. Ray and Mr. Mayfield for the opportunity to serve as Director of Bands for the Russellville City School system," McNutt said.
McNutt was hired to fill a vacancy left when former director George Crummie decided to take the school's Choral Director position this past spring.
"I am excited about sharing my goals and vision for the Marching Hundred with the students," McNutt said. "Our students have a strong work ethic in our band programs."
McNutt is a 1981 graduate of Haleyville High School, and he received his degree in Music Education and Business Administration from Jacksonville State University, and a master's degree in music education from the University of North Alabama.
He also served as a teaching assistant and arranger for the University of Alabama's famed "Million Dollar Band" under Kathryn Scott, and was a member of the Alabama wind ensemble under Dr. Gerald Welker.
McNutt resides in Russellville with wife, Mitzi, a kindergarten teacher at Russellville's West Elementary.
The changes in the RHS Band and Choir departments left a vacancy in the Russellville Middle School's band program.
Mark Andrews, of Decatur, was been hired as the RMS band director. He will also serve as the Associate Band Director for the Marching Hundred.
Andrews served as a student teacher under McNutt and Crummie this past spring, and recently earned his teaching certification from the University of North Alabama. He earned his bachelor's degree in music education at the University of Tennessee.
During his time at UT, Andrews was a section leader and drill instructor for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band. In April 2003, Andrews performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.
"Mark is an outstanding young man and we are excited to have him in our band program," McNutt said.
Andrews said that he was excited about his new position and he looks forward to working with the students and faculty at both schools.
"I couldn't imagine a better situation than to have the years of experience with Mr. McNutt and Mr. Crummie around me," Andrews said.
Andrews currently resides in Florence, but has plans to move to Russellville shortly before marrying his fiancee, Dottie Eagle, in May 2008.