Band begins year with new director
Being an assistant principal and band director at the same time is something Patrick Flaniken is familiar with.
Jacksboro’s new band director was splitting time between the two at his previous stop in Nocona, where he spent the last two years. He said the experience taught him how to manage time and compartmentalize.
“I had to tell myself during these hours I would only work on band director stuff,” Flaniken explained. “Other parts of the day I would compartmentalize and say I have to work on assistant principal stuff, which was a lot of paperwork.”
Flaniken is able to focus on just the one thing here. He said seeing the parent and community support for the kids was enticing along with the beautiful facilities JISD offers.
Flaniken has spent the first three days of band camp trying to figure out what he has, taking the musicians from the level they are at and making them better. He is working with about 28 high school students at the present time, including about six incoming freshmen.
He uses the Field of Dreams mindset when it comes to building the program.
“‘If you build it, they will come’ is kind of what I believe,” Flaniken said. “When you have success, all the younger ones want to be a part of it. The numbers will come I believe.”
Helping him build the numbers will be Elysse Allen, who ran the entire Windthorst band program last year. Flaniken was so impressed with the Trojan program and the passion and dedication she had toward it, he recruited her to come work in Jacksboro. Both will work with the middle and high school band students.
“We’re definitely a team and will work together extensively,” Flaniken explained. “
In the opening days of camp, Flaniken said he has been impressed with the way the band members have been receptive to what he is teaching them. Every band director has a different way of teaching the basics and Flaniken is working on marching communication.
Once that is complete, Flaniken said he will begin working on the show entitled Master of Illusion, which he calls a “magic show on the field”. This year people will be cut in half, levitate and disappear all as part of the halftime show.
The show will have four different components, Flaniken working on his band’s capabilities and strengths to determine how to integrate each.
“How quickly they catch on will determine how quickly we integrate the show’s components,” Flaniken said.
Flaniken received his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and his master’s from Lamar University. He developed a love for band while a percussion player at Gregory-Portland High in suburban Corpus Christi.
Now it’s finding a way of sharing that love. He hopes to have his band qualify for area Oct. 28 by receiving straight 1s at regional competition Oct. 21 in Wichita Falls.
“Then we can move on to students in solo and ensemble and contests this winter,” Flaniken said.