Local music program pushes students to become more

By Madison Remrey

Ruston High School’s music program, the Bearcat Band, encourages its members to be not only successful musicians, but also well-rounded students and members of the Ruston community.

Directed by Walter Moss, the band has over 100 members that meet daily in class to rehearse and prepare for various events. These events include things such as football games, concerts and music assessments. 

Being a musician takes more than knowing how to play an instrument. It takes other skills such as having a strong sense of dedication, having good time management, being detail oriented and knowing how to work together as a team.

To learn these skills, students do tasks that include spending extra hours at the school to attend rehearsals, clean up after graduation and complete inventory of band supplies once the school year has ended. 

“These kids work hard,” Moss said. “[They’re the] first ones here and last ones to leave of the entire student population.”

A unique sense of community can be found within the Bearcat Band and students are encouraged to be who they are without fear of judgment.

“It gives the individual student a chance to be an individual that they may or may not receive in a classroom setting – to express themselves and to be a part of a family, something greater than just themselves,” Moss said. “We just accept you for who you are, and we don’t expect you to be any different. It is a safe place in a world that is so judgmental.”

Because of this, there are students in the program who want to excel in both band and other areas of their academic careers.

“It’s definitely the pinnacle of what I go to school for,” said Gunther Simpson, senior percussionist at Ruston High School. 

Simpson said that being in the band motivates him to enthusiastically show up to school and do his best in all subjects.

Members of the Ruston community can support the band either financially by offering donations or physically by attending events throughout the year such as their concerts and music assessments. 

To keep up with events happening within the program or to learn more about what they do, visit https://rustonband.com/media or contact Walter Moss at wmoss@lincolnschools.org

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