USD 475

Ever since he started playing in the band in seventh grade, Jared Morris has loved music. All through junior high and high school, he found himself coming to school an hour or more early in the mornings just to practice his instrument — a snare drum, at the time.

Morris wanted nothing more than to be a band teacher from the time he first picked up a set of drumsticks and realized — he didn’t just enjoy this, he was good at it.

After years of education and encouragement from teachers, he achieved his goal. Morris will begin his new position as Junction City High School’s band director.

He’s not a first time band director — Morris has been living his dream for almost 10 years. He taught for seven years in Utah and for two in Cincinnati.

Morris is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he attained his Bachelor’s Degree and the University of Cincinnati, where he received a Master’s Degree. Both of his degrees are in music education.

Morris came to this area because his wife, Alyssa, was hired to teach oboe and music theory at Kansas State University.

He chose Junction City in particular because of JCHS’s band program.

“It’s a large band program that’s had some really good success over the past 20 years or so,” Morris said.

He plays multiple instruments. Though Morris is a percussion guy — any instrument that makes a fun noise when he hits it, Morris said he knows how to play — he has made a point of learning to play other instruments throughout his education. He is comfortable with the clarinet, trumpet, trombone, and flute.

During his time at JCHS, Morris will teach marching band, jazz band, concert band, and a piano class.

He said he’d try to sustain the legacy left by former band director T.J. Taylor. He will have assistance in the form of assistant director Samantha Boxberger, formerly a teacher at Fort Riley Middle School.

“We want to continue to get good ratings at festivals — they’ve been getting good ratings in the past and we want to keep that going,” Morris said. “Our goal is to get the highest ratings that we can get ... the mission of the band is to help the students have excellence in character and excellence in musicianship.”

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