Hello band members, parents, and other new friends!
My name is Demetrius White and I am the new Director of Bands for the Holland High School Band Program.
I am tremendously excited for this opportunity and look forward to serving HPS students in the coming years!
I intend to bring the same principles and techniques that made my former band program at Southern Vance High School highly successful to my new position in Holland. My ultimate goal is to bring recognition to the City of Holland, instill a sense of pride and excellence in our students that will be contagious throughout the school, and develop a band that younger students aspire to be a part of!
I look forward to getting to know each of you personally over the next couple of months and learning about your families. I grew up in the communities of Lansing, MI. After graduation from Everett High School, I attended Michigan State University and earned my undergraduate degree in Music Education. While at Michigan State University, I participated in music as a member of the Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band, Concert ensembles, Percussion ensemble, Jazz combos and Salsa band. While at MSU, I also auditioned and was a member of the Detroit Pistons Drumline for the NBA affiliated Detroit Pistons basketball team.
Soon after college, I began teaching at Clearview Elementary School in Waukegan, IL, where I taught as the Elementary General Music Teacher for Waukegan Public School District 60. At Clearview Elementary School, I taught K-5 General and Vocal Music to a student population of 750 students which included general education, special education and self-contained special needs students. After that, I was offered a position at Detroit Edison Public School Academy where I taught as the band director and performing arts teacher for the Junior Academy (Middle School). In addition to teaching instrumental music as the band director, I designed and implemented a curriculum for a class that focused on music history, music appreciation and percussion pedagogy that I taught as the performing arts teacher.
In 2013, I was offered and accepted the position as the Director of Bands at Southern Vance High School in Henderson, NC where I was the Director of the Marching, Concert, Jazz and Athletic Pep Bands. During my tenure as the Director of Bands at Southern Vance High School, the band program doubled in the regards to the number of students who participated and regularly performed in North Carolina Bandmasters Association events in addition to performing in multiple community outreach events annually. Some of these events include the East Carolina Band Day, Appalachian State University Band Festival and the Elon University Jazz Festival.
Recently, I was accepted into the North Carolina Central University Masters of Music in Jazz Studies program where I was awarded a Graduate Assistantship to study jazz/improvisation with Professor Thomas Taylor and Jon Metzger. My wife Jennifer, our dog Pearl and I are extremely excited for the opportunity to move back to Michigan and work as members of the Holland Public Schools family!
When not teaching, I enjoy biking, kayaking and other various sports activities in addition to firing up the barbeque every chance I get!
Getting a new band director is one of the most difficult transitions a school band program can go through. Your former band directors, Jonathan Bogue and James Hughes, were amazing teachers that left not only a high functioning program, but a well known legacy. It will not be easy to fill their shoes, and I know that the transition will take time.
It is my goal to honor the work these two directors did over many years, continue the great traditions of the Holland Band Program, and make the transition as smooth as possible. I look forward to getting to know all of you over the coming months. Please stop by and say hi to me, or give me a call at any time. It is my philosophy that band programs function as extended families to the community, and I regard my family as a part of yours. We have much to do, and I look forward to the making the Holland Bands into the best in the area!
Director of Bands
Holland High School