Band Director Reggie Jackson Left Mark on St. Helena

Starting a band program from scratch might seem too challenging for most band directors, but not for Istrouma High’s new band director, Reggie Jackson. He’s already done it once before with great success!

When Jackson became band director at St. Helena College & Career Academy, only seven students came out for band, but three years later, the band had 90 members and a load of championship trophies — 13 to be exact, including a couple of national championships.

With only seven kids out for the band, it was hard to put a band on the field at the first football game, but Jackson had a drum line instead.  People loved it! At the second game of the season, he added horns. By the end of the first season, he had a full band on the field!

How did he do it?  He says it was by constantly promoting the band, but actually there was a lot more than that. Reggie Jackson is quite a musician himself and can play every instrument in the band.

To encourage kids to join the band, he asks every kid in school to come by the band room — 20 students at a time.  Mr. Jackson explains each instrument to the students and then plays it, often with extraordinary results. He likes to focus on the less popular instruments and highlight them.  The result?  A total of 90 band members in a student body of 400 students!

Under Jackson’s leadership, St. Helena won first place in Houston at the MLK Battle of the Bands. The flag and dancers won 1st and 2nd place. At the parish fair in Tangipahoa, St. Helena 1st place in five categories.

Today, Reggie Jackson is facing the same challenge — making something out of nothing. He’s busy trying to raise money and find band equipment for the Istrouma Indian Band.

To help him, call 985-974-8958.

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