MULLAN — Mullan High School may be one of the smaller educational facilities in the Silver Valley, but it has made some big changes to its music department for the new school year.
Derek Larson was recently hired to be the band instructor for the Mullan School District and his arrival has triggered a bit of a revival in the program.
Coming to Mullan by way of Superior, Montana, Larson is also the band instructor for the St. Regis School District- making the football teams not the only thing co-oped between these two schools.
Each day Larson drives to Mullan, spends the first part of his day there before heading back to Montana to finish his day in St. Regis. While this may sound like a lot, he really seems to enjoy it.
“I love it here. I grew up in a small community and love working in rural communities,” Larson said. “I’ve gotten offers for bigger areas and for more money, but that’s not where I want to be and never intend to go.”
Entering his ninth year as band instructor at St. Regis High School, Larson is no stranger to the classroom and has really tailored his curriculum around giving the kids a blend of modern and classic music to play. One of his favorite aspects about the job is watching the students get excited about pieces that may be new to them.
“We have a good start on our sound,” Larson said. “The bands are sounding good.”
Larson is also co-oping the two bands to play during the football games, including the lone game that was played in St. Regis on Sept. 13.
MHS Principal Don Kotschevar has been really happy seeing the turnout for band this year, with 24 students it means that Mullan will be working with a bigger than normal group, which means more opportunity.
“It’s really great to be a part of this. We are going to be able to have a strong pep band for football games, and we are also going to take part in holiday and seasonal concerts with the classes from St. Regis,” Kotschevar said. “Having Derek has really been great for us.”