Band di­rec­tor to be pro­filed on TV

Alan Fowler to be fea­tured on NBC 11Alive

The Covington News - - OPINION - By Jenny Thompson

Usu­ally New­ton County res­i­dents see Alan Fowler, band di­rec­tor at East­side High School, in his class­room, bleach­ers or on the foot­ball field — but Mon­day morn­ing the greater At­lanta metro area can see him on the small screen.

Pro­duc­ers of theNBC11Alive 6 a.m. and noon news­casts chose Fowler to be the first teacher for the 2007-2008 school year fea­tured in their weekly Class Act seg­ment. The profile will also be fea­tured on­line.

Ev­ery year par­ents, stu­dents and other teach­ers nom­i­nate 300-400 teach­ers to be pro­filed on the seg­ment. Pro­duc­ers choose about 40 of them for broad­cast. Those fea­tured also re­ceive a $50 gift cer­tifi­cate to a lo­cal teacher sup­ply store and are in­vited to a ban­quet in May.

For­mer East­side band par­ent Nat Har­well nom­i­nated Fowler, but also knew him as a fel­low church parish­ioner be­fore mov­ing to New­ton County.

“He was in my Sun­day school class in Riverdale way back in 1983,” Har­well said.

Har­well said he nom­i­nated Fowler for his ded­i­ca­tion to giv­ing his stu­dents a well-rounded mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

“And it all comes from the heart,” Har­well said. “There is noth­ing fake about him.”

In his let­ter Har­well de­tailed Fowler’s guid­ance on stu­dent trips to Hawaii and Canada and per­form­ing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleve­land, Ohio. He said he ap­pre­ci­ated Fowler’s love of Ge­or­gia and in­clu­sion of the state’s his­tory in his lessons as well.

Har­well also men­tioned Fowler host­ing a Mon­day morn­ing break­fast for all the New­ton County band direc­tors.

“He has them come out be­cause he doesn’t want any walls be­ing built with com­pe­ti­tions and con­certs and all,” Har­well said.

Fowler is a de­voted fam­ily man and a man of faith who leads by ex­am­ple rather than force, ac­cord­ing to Har­well.

“He’s got the finest char­ac­ter, the finest moral fiber of any per­son you will ever meet,” Har­well said.

Fowler’s stu­dents also agree with Har­well that he is a “class act.”

“He mixes the the­ory of mu­sic with fun things,” said se­nior bass clar­inet player An­dre McLean.

McLean said Fowler of­ten takes out his tuba and plays an ex­am­ple or tells a funny story. He re­mem­bered goof­ing off with Fowler while eat­ing lunch at a dis­trict honor band com­pe­ti­tion and com­ing up with catch phrases for the band.

Kelsey Wil­liams, ju­nior clar­inet player, said she also en­joys Fowler’s sense of hu­mor.

“He has a good at­ti­tude,” Wil­liams said, “and he’s just a re­ally good teacher.”

Wil­liams de­fined Fowler as very sup­port­ive of his stu­dents’ mu­sic and all other sub­jects.

“He’ll al­ways try to help you out if you need some­thing and he ad­justs to you,” Wil­liams said.

McLean said he has learned much more than how to read sheet mu­sic or who Bach is in Fowler’s class.

“He has taught me a lot of things,” McLean said, “not just about mu­sic, but about life.”

Fowler has taught hun­dreds of stu­dents in his 17 years as a teacher — 12 of them at East­side.

He started play­ing the tuba in fifth grade and the in­stru­ment re­mains the fa­vorite of those he plays.

“That’s the one I’m best at,” Fowler said.

When he was a ju­nior in high school he par­tic­i­pated in band in the Gov­er­nor’s Hon­ors Pro­gram.

“That’s when I re­al­ized that’s what I wanted to do,” Fowler said. “When I saw the band di­rec­tor there and how much fun he was hav­ing, I thought — he has a great life be­cause he’s do­ing what he loves.”

Fowler said he likes to main­tain a jovial spirit in his class­room.

“I try not to stay on any­thing too long — keep it mov­ing,” Fowler said.

He also said he wants to teach his stu­dents much more than mu­sic ap­pre­ci­a­tion but how to think crit­i­cally, work with oth­ers, keep an open mind and act cour­te­ously.

“Years ago I fig­ured out that I was sup­posed to be teach­ing band and mu­sic,” Fowler said, “but I’m re­ally teach­ing kids — that’s im­por­tant.”

Har­well said Fowler goes above and be­yond as a band di­rec­tor in his at­ten­tion to de­tail and pas­sion for his work.

He said his high school band di­rec­tor once asked him: “Nat if ev­ery­one prac­ticed as hard as you do, do you think our band would be bet­ter, worse or the same?” To Har­well, Fowler is a per­son to em­u­late.

“The­world­would be an un­be­liev­ably bet­ter place if ev­ery­one con­ducted them­selves as Alan Fowler does,” Har­well said.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Mu­sic man: East­side High School Band Di­rec­tor Alan Fowler con­ducts the award-win­ning Pride of East­side Band Fri­day in the school’s band room. Alan has been will be fea­tured on television as the 11Alive Class Act Teacher this week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.