Musicians eager to welcome new director

Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

As Baker says goodbye to many retiring members of the Wildcat family, it also says hello to a new band director. After a strict selection process, Frank Perez has been selected as the new director in the Department of Music and Theater.

After reviewing the many applications, three candidates were invited for individual days to visit during which they were given tours, underwent interviews, conducted a band session, instructed private lessons and were treated with luncheon where they conversed with students one-on-one.

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Meet Frank Perez on his own website

In addition to Perez, Baker also welcomed Andrew Feyes and Alison Farley as candidates for the position.

Trilla Lyerla, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music and Theater, spoke highly of all three candidates who visited.

“We were very pleased with all three of them,” Lyerla said. “Any one of them could have brought a unique set of talents and skills to the campus.”

Freshman Lora Finley was among the students who were chosen for a committee to represent the students during the selection process.

“It was nice for me because I got to talk with him at lunch,” Finley said. “I really enjoyed it.”

Based on her first impression of Perez, Finley is excited for the hire.

“He has his own webpage with information about him and videos of him playing his trombone,” Finley said.

Dante Simmons, a sophomore this year, was also impressed and really enjoyed working with Perez in an one-on-one lesson during his visit.

“In the lesson I had with him, he gave me techniques on how I could play to get the sound I wanted,” Simmons said. “It was really helpful.”

Simmons would also like to encourage everyone to introduce themselves to Perez and said that he is friendly and “open to meeting new people.”

Finley had the same feeling when she spoke with Perez, saying he was easy to talk to. She also encourages students to take the time to learn about their new director.

Lyerla, Finley, and Simmons are all looking forward to next year with high hopes.

“I think he will continue the great tradition that has been established by (Ray) James and (J.D.) Parr,” Lyerla said. “I also think we can expect to see the band continue to grow and get better.”