His goal: Constant improvement for Straughn’s Sound of Gold

Published 12:19 am Friday, August 10, 2018

Straughn High School’s new band director, Daniel Walden, is ready to get in the groove of things at his new school.

Daniel Walden

“I have been up here all summer,” Walden said. “But now I am ready to have kids in the classroom and meet other kids that aren’t in the band program.”

Walden will be teaching beginning band and music appreciation as well as directing the marching band.

“It is going to be exciting to teach other kids that aren’t in band,” Walden said. “And of course I can use that as a recruiting tool as well.”

Walden is a native of the Birmingham area, growing up in Pinson, Ala., but came to this region to attend Troy University.

He was a tuba player in the Sound of the South marching band and earned his bachelor’s degree from Troy University. He went on to earn his master’s degree from Louisiana State University.

“I was in band all throughout middle school, high school and college,” Walden said. “I knew that I wanted to be a teacher, so when I was in college and deciding my major I knew that being a band director was for me.”

Walden said that in college he had the hopes of becoming a director at the collegiate level, but now has fallen in love with high school marching band.

“I thought that high school marching band was just a stepping stone, but now that I have done it for nine years, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said. “I love it.”

Before coming to SHS, Walden was band director at Goshen High School.

He said his goal this year is to make sure the band improves from show to show.

“I want to perform well,” Walden said. “And like I always tell the kids, our best show needs to be our last show. Nowadays, there are too many bands that plateau in the middle of the season and I don’t want that to happen to us, so I plan to push the kids and do well all season.”

Outside of the classroom, Walden enjoys riding motorcycles.

Walden and his wife, Charlotte Walden, have a daughter, Norah Walden.