Let’s hear it for the band and Citrus High School’s new band director — Kaleb DuBose. This is his first year at the helm and he’s already increased his student base from 26 to 46 members.
Besides former middle school band members, today there are a lot of new band members in the Citrus High School.
How did he accomplish such a feat? He visited the middle school band director, Matt McDowell, whom he knows and asked for a list of former middle school band students.
Next, he contacted each one and tried to persuade them to get back into music by joining Citrus High’s marching band.
Once students joined, he asked them to contact some of their friends to see if they would like to try being part of the band.
“Tell your friends about our band,” he told his students.
And apparently, his idea worked, with his band now sporting 46 members.
DuBose is also going to restart the Jazz Band for Citrus High this year. At the present time, students are learning the fundamentals.
He teaches a wind brass/ woodwinds band, percussion and color guard, as well as a music technology class.
For the marching band, the music is taught inside while DuBose writes the outside drill to be performed with the music after school.
DuBose took over for William Rankin, Citrus High’s former band director.
Although this is his first year at CHS, students seem happy to be part of the band and enjoy DuBose as their director.
“He is an amazing band director,” said Genesis Pick, who calls herself a “newbie,” and is learning how to play the clarinet.
Bridgett Adkins, a clarinet player, who was also part of the Inverness Middle School band, said, “He is very calm and very collective and is never negative.”
Joseph Zaragoza, another clarinet player, thinks DuBose makes band practice “great fun and gets the job done!”
“He flips a switch and is right on task.”
“In sixth,seventh and eighth grades, I was musically challenged,” DuBose said. “I struggled playing the trumpet and was teased because of it.”
That didn’t sit right though for him, so he began practicing six hours a night until he mastered the trumpet, which he really didn’t like playing during that time.
During his high school years, he began playing the French horn and loved it.
DuBose is a Florida native, originally from North Lake Butler. When he was a senior in high school, he would go to Lake Butler’s middle school to teach band students.
“I taught sixth graders during my two free periods,” he said.
He graduated college from Stetson University and during his first year out of college, he joined the Drum & Bugle Corps, the Heatwave, that was performing in Inverness at the time.
DuBose started to enjoy the area and had good vibes from the people he met here. He applied for the open band director job at Citrus High School.
Right after his interview, he went to see his friend Matt, the director of CMS band, and helped out with teaching some of the students.
He was then hired as Citrus High’s new band director and loves teaching his students.
“This year’s marching band’s show theme is an anomaly, with the original music for the ensemble by John Mapes,” he said.
The marching band has a competition on Oct. 5 in Leesburg and one on Oct. 12 at Lecanto High School.
“Our winter concert, a symphonic concert, is Dec. 12 at Citrus High School,” he added. “I’m super excited!”