Robert Ash: Marching Band Mastermind

Robert Ash: Marching Band Mastermind

Rene Maier, Staff Writer

In the past few years, the FHC Band program has been under the direction of someone new every season, making the transition from year to year hard for the students. But going into the 2014 season, the band was introduced to Mr. Robert Ash and since then he has held the spot as band director. Now, going into the 2016-2017 school year, he is very excited to continue in this role and make it the best year yet.

Ash started his teaching career at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School after graduating from Central Michigan University with a major in Music Education and Music Theory/Composition.  Along with teaching at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, he also taught music at Florida State University, East Bronx Academy for the Future, International Academy Bloomfield Hills, and Pinckney High School before coming to Forest Hills. Being able to be both the band director and the marching band director excites Ash because he gets to work with students throughout the day and build relationships with them. Then at night, during marching band rehearsals, he has the opportunity to bring the music to life with the halftime show.

Making the decision to come and teach at FHC was an easy one for Ash; he made sure to look at the program here before committing but, after a little research, took the job right away.

“A rich tradition of exemplary bands brought me to FHC,” Ash said. “When the job opened up I had to apply.”

While in high school Ash had loved everything about music and growing up in the small town of Pinckney, Michigan, he knew that he had to try hard and explore other places after graduation. But growing up, his band class and the people in it were his favorite thing.

“I graduated from Pinckney High School at a time when the band program had lost favor in the community,” Ash said. “My high school band program consisted of 60 kids and only one band class. The interesting thing is of those 60 kids, 20 of them are highly successful professional musicians. Those that were in band really liked to play and perform.”

Ash wants to continue allowing kids to love to play and perform and this jobs allows him to so that with teaching numerous bands throughout the day and also marching band. With being the director of the marching band, Ash not only is the one making it come to life but he also is the one who, along with the opinion of the upperclassmen, chooses the halftime show. And for this year’s show, the theme is Spy and Secret Agent. Consisting of the Incredibles Theme, Mission Impossible Theme, and the hit song “Live and Let Die.” Although this show is fast-paced and extremely difficult, Ash knows the band is highly capable of nailing it.

Next year’s show has a secret agent theme,” Ash said. “It is going to be fantastic, and we are all excited about it in the band room.”

Not only is Ash excited about the show for next year but he is also excited to continue teaching at FHC. The opportunity to teach here was a big deal for him and he hopes that he will continue to teach here for many more years. With the exceptional talent of all the band students and also their drive for success, he hopes next year will be as good as the past two.

“FHC stands apart from other schools with a strong culture of academic performance and success,” Ash said. “It is apparent once you walk in the building that there are a great deal of students who care about their academic success.”