Who’s Leading the Band?

Amanda Lemkan, Entertainment Writer

As Ramey High School’s journey with Mr. Bialkin comes to a close, a new chapter begins with Mr. Jenkins. Over the summer, it was announced that Mr. Jenkins would be replacing Mr. Bialkin as Ramsey High School’s band director, and so far this season, Mr. Jenkins has exceeded all expectations. Mr. Jenkins has been involved in Ramsey’s Big Blue Marching Band for a few years now, but for those who haven’t gotten a chance to get to know him yet, here are a few things about him:

When I asked him why he decided to become a music teacher, it was evident that Mr. Jenkins’s love and passion for music are not new. He told me all about the music program he was involved in his hometown, and I could see all the memories coming back to him. As a child, Mr. Jenkins was a member of his school’s band program from fifth grade until his high school graduation. During the interview, we discussed his band directors and how much of an inspiration they were to him, as well as the people around him.

Mr. Jenkins first became involved in Big Blue during his first few years as a teacher. After befriending Mr. Bialkin, he was invited to help out with Thursday night rehearsals, and Mr. Jenkins’ involvement with Ramsey’s beloved marching band progressed from there. As Mr. Jenkins’s bond with the band program grew, he began to participate more and more, attending many of the annual summer band camps, and continuing to lend a hand with Thursday night rehearsals as the years went on. 

As we all know, Big Blue’s shows can be pretty elaborate and difficult to learn, but as the season progresses, the show becomes something magical. When I asked Mr. Jenkins what his favorite thing about marching band is, he said that he loves to see marching band shows, and watch as members of the band progress and grow. As each marching season goes on, it becomes apparent how much both the show as a whole and members of the band have improved, and how amazing they can become with time and effort.

2020 has brought many hurdles to Ramsey’s learning community, and especially to our sports teams, clubs, and activities. Although Big Blue has been heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to Mr. Jenkins, we have been able to overcome many obstacles. He has helped many students keep a sense of normalcy in their lives during these troubling times with his new ways and ideas of how to continue on with the marching band season, including adjustments to half time shows, Thursday night rehearsals, and Saturday competitions. Although the marching band looks very different this year, the hard work of everyone involved in Big Blue has managed to put a smile on so many faces.

During our interview, I could tell how eager Mr. Jenkins was to become the band director at Ramsey High School, especially after I asked him what he was looking forward to the most in his position at RHS. Mr. Jenkins says that he is excited about continuing the tradition of excellence that he has heard so much about and even witnessed himself. Along with continuing such a tradition, one of Mr. Jenkins’s biggest goals is to create and sustain the feeling of a second home for many students here at Ramsey High School.