POSTED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 9:29pm
UPDATED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 9:44pm
The Union Grove band is now under the direction of a man who has 25 University Interscholastic League Sweepstakes wins to his name.
Harvey Durham, a former Longview ISD band director, is now leading the Lions, after the school board voted to hire him July 9, Union Grove ISD Superintendent Brian Gray said.
“Harvey’s background is above reproach,” Gray said.
The district interviewed six people for the position, which became vacant when Aaron Handorf resigned following being hired by Sabine ISD in May. Handorf will lead the Sabine High School band. He had served as Union Grove’s band director for 10 years.
Durham spent 33 years in education prior to retiring from Longview ISD in 2009. He served as the Lobo band director for 15 years. Under Durham’s leadership, the Lobos Mean Green Marching Machine acquired 15 consecutive first division ratings at UIL marching contests.
Prior to working in Longview ISD, Durham worked in Ore City, New Boston and Ennis schools.
“He has a tremendous background in military marching,” Gray said.
Upon retiring, Durham took a position with Tatum Music, where he became familiar with the Union Grove Lions, Gray said.
“He actually helped write our drill this year,” he said. “That was another benefit — our kids are familiar with him and know Mr. Durham.”
Durham is already on the high school campus preparing for the upcoming school year, and students have been in and out of the band hall since the district made the announcement of its new director, Gray said.
“I talked to one administrator, who said we’d have best band in the county with Harvey Durham as our director,” Gray said. “I think we already have the best band in the county. But maybe we'll have the best band in state.”