Playing a different tune

New Rebel band director aims for state in 2018

Following an 11-year history of success in Fredericksburg, John Rauschuber is ready for a new challenge when he leads the Hays High band this fall.

Rauschuber, who takes over for longtime director Tony Leflet, looks to add a depth of musicality to the Rebel marching and concert bands.

With 6A bands competing to reach the UIL state contest in 2018, Rauschuber saw it as a prime opportunity for the Hays High music program to add to its tradition.

“We had a very successful and award-winning program at Fredericksburg (High) and one of the best 4A bands in the state,” Rauschuber said. “That being said, I was ready for a bigger challenge. I want to push the students at Hays to play the highest level literature we can to be the most successful program we can.”

Rauschuber said his competitive nature growing up as a music student pushed him to become a band director; it was a labor of love and a passion for his art.

Following the marching season, Rauschuber wants to hone in on concert season, where he believes musicians are molded into the best players they can be.

“There is a balancing act between marching and concert band and both play big roles in the development of musicians,” Rauschuber said. “I just want these kids to be the best players they can be. Most of them won’t go on to be musicians professionally, but music teaches you vital life skills for the real world.”

Eric Wright, Hays CISD superintendent, said he had plans to recruit Rauschuber from Fredericksburg, where the two worked before their transition to Hays.

“He stands for excellence and everything he touched in Fredericksburg turned to gold,” Wright said. “I was pleased with his overall quality and student achievement. He got along well with his fellow directors, students and band boosters. He has high expectations and pushed the students in a way that was enjoyable.”

The band students at Hays High are currently working long hours to perfect their marching show for the upcoming state competitions. The program has most of its opener ready for the school year and will be working hard throughout the semester to complete the show.

Rauschuber said he wants the community to know the Hays band is working hard to play high-level literature that will teach the students discipline through the love of music.

“I’m looking forward to it wholeheartedly,” Rauschuber said. “I went from a program with 140 students to 300. It was a little overwhelming at first because I want to get to know all of our students. I know their work ethic and community support will lead us in the right direction.”

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