New Holtville High band director Doug Brasell goes through his notebook during a recent practice.
New Holtville High band director Doug Brasell goes through his notebook during a recent practice.

Brasell takes reins of HHS band

Published 5:12am Monday, August 19, 2013

When the Green Machine takes the field on Friday nights, a new director will be leading the charge.
Doug Brasell has been hired to lead the Holtville High Marching Band.
“I’ve taught for a number of years in Alabama and in Georgia,” said Brasell. “Then I took a leave and was doing church music, some instrumental and praise band.”
Brasell, also wanted to start his own business: All National Music.
“With the economy the way it is, it didn’t grow the way I’d hoped it would,” said Brasell. “On top of that, I have three young children, two of them who are now in band. Everything combined was giving me an itch to get back into teaching. That’s where my heart is.”
He dialed up the state board of education’s website and began looking at job listings.
“The River Region was one of those that had some open jobs and when I interviewed here something clicked and it felt right,” he said. “When I met Dr. (Jimmy) Hull, we clicked and had a good interview. He asked me to come back to interview in front of the full committee.”
When Hull called to offer Brasell the job, he quickly accepted. Now, with a director in place, the Bulldogs can get to back to the matters of music.
“The size of the band is small, but then I started meeting the leadership and the drum major and the section leaders and then I heard the band play,” said Brasell. “It excited me because they didn’t sound like a small band. You can tell they’ve worked hard and have had good teaching. They want to be here.”
Brasell added that with desire, talent and the want to be there combined, the Green Machine could be fun to watch this fall.
To complement that, Holtville’s halftime show is a tribute to rock’s past: Aerosmith, Van Halen, “The Safety Dance” and Dream On.
“I think it will be a crowd pleaser,” said Brasell. “I think we can take it to some festivals and really have some fun with it.”
And the fun and success the band has this year could lead to bigger and better things down the line.
“When you come into a situation when it is a little smaller like this, you have room to grow,” said Brasell. “You have the opportunity to inject some enthusiasm and help them grow a band program.”

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