Richardson takes reins of Green Forest High School band

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Gavin Richardson, pictured with wife Kaila, is the new band director at Green Forest High School.
Submitted photo

By Haley Schichtl

Gavin Richardson is the new band director for Green Forest High School.

Richardson said he wants to teach his students to take chances and to not be afraid of making mistakes.

“Some of those chances don’t always pay off, and that can be scary, even for me,” Richardson said. “But that’s the only way for students to really learn.”

A trumpet player and native of Clarksville, Richardson joined band in seventh grade and decided during his junior year in high school that he wanted to be a music teacher.

“I had a fantastic director growing up who I’m still in contact with and he showed me how great music is,” Richardson said.

Richardson got his degree from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, where he met his wife, Kaila, who was also a music major at the time. She switched to math education but stayed involved in the music department.

“My wife is from Springdale and her ultimate goal was to move back home and teach at her old high school,” Richardson said. “She got a new job for this school year at Springdale High School.”

Richardson said he needed to look for a job in Northwest Arkansas as well, and the job opening at Green Forest fit perfectly.

“Green Forest is similar in school size to Clarksville, so it felt familiar,” Richardson said. “I asked several directors in the area about the program and heard a lot of great things.”

He said it was also a goal of his to be a head band director.

“As much as I love performing music, teaching it brings more satisfaction,” Richardson said. “I love watching students put in all the work and then reaping the benefits of it.”

Richardson said this school year will be a bit different for band, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“A lot of the class will be spent working fundamentals and technique,” he said. “While an online classroom isn’t the most ideal for music, we’ll take advantage of the extra time we have since we wouldn’t be doing marching band. Working on those skills will set us up for success when we return.”

He said that if All-Region and Solo and Ensemble are not canceled, the class will still participate in those competitions.

Richardson said his favorite kinds of music are classical and classic rock.

“I really like Mahler, Strauss, Copland, Shostakovich,” he said. “I also really enjoy ... the Beatles, Guns ’N’ Roses, Queen and other groups like that.”

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