By T. Scott Boatright
Officially inking offers to join Louisiana Tech University’s Marching Band of Pride was much like music to the ears of three Ruston High School seniors on Wednesday as the trio signed scholarships with first-year Tech band director Christopher P. Heidenreich looking on.
Their hard work with the Bearcats band will earn the students paid books and tuition at Louisiana Tech along with the opportunity with the chance to pick up a little extra funding should they push to earn a band service award or by participating in a side group like Tech’s Concert Ensemble or the “Hoop Troop.”
Earning scholarships to join Tech’s Band of Pride, with band duties and intended major in parenthesis, were upcoming RHS graduates J. Bean (euphonium/ aerospace engineering or computer science); Zoe Brownfield (flute and piccolo/environmental education); and Emily Tooke (trumpet and color guard/business).
Bean is the son of Jacquelyn and Paul Bean. Brownfield is the daughter of Tina and Dale Hogan and Chad Brownfield. Tooke is the daughter of Jan and Landon Tooke.
“It’s crucial to the success of our band,” Heidenreich said of the pipeline from Ruston High to Louisiana Tech that has sent many new members to the Band of Pride in recent years. “I taught high school and this pipeline is crucial not only because we have a Tech alum here (RHS band director Walter Moss) but also because it’s a local school. It’s just one more way we can reach out to grab those students who might not be in music otherwise.”
Moss said the familiarity he has with the Band of Pride that he passes along to RHS band members has played a role in helping him send so many of his band students to Louisiana Tech.
“It’s not exactly the same, but there definitely are some similarities between the Tech Band and the Ruston High School band,” Moss said. “I think that makes them feel more comfortable joining the Band of Pride. They know what to expect going in.”
Moss had one other RHS senior band member recently sign a college scholarship to continue their music training on the next level — his son Garrett Moss, a percussionist who has signed on to join the Northwestern State University band.
“It was one of those deals where he just wanted to get away from home to go to college,” Moss said. “I’m proud of him and all three of the Band of Pride signees. They’ve all worked hard to earn this and are very deserving of the honor.”
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