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Sims named Jet Band assistant director

MADISON – Brian Sims is working as the new assistant band director at James Clemens High School.

James Clemens’ outstanding facilities and the administration’s dedicated support attracted Sims to the job. He believes the band students “are dedicated to being a positive example and working extremely hard. Who wouldn’t want to be in an organization like that?”

“The main draw was head director Keith Anderson and the band students’ reputation,”Sims said. As a first-year teacher, Sims wanted a solid example to follow like Anderson.

Sims graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in music education. He completed student teaching at Florence middle and high schools. Since 2011, Sims has taught at numerous band camps, along with private lessons.

Trombone and drumset are Sims’ primary instruments, but he also plays piano, guitar and bass guitar. In college, he marched with a baritone. At UNA, he performed in Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Pride of Dixie Marching Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Shoals Symphony, Low Brass Choir, Brass Quintet and student ensembles.

Before college, he worked as a professional touring/studio musician with songwriting credits on multiple tracks performed on radio, television and film.

For the future, Sims would love for the Jets to organize a jazz band. “Jazz is the American art form and requires a higher level of musicianship that students should be exposed to,” he said. He also would welcome small groups, like trombone choirs, clarinet ensembles, trumpet trios or “anything that gives students a creative outlet and expands their musical experience.”

One of the most influential people in Sims’s life has been Pat Stegall, Head Band Director at Muscle Shoals High School and UNA Music Education Coordinator and adjunct professor. “Mr. Stegall is highly regarded as one of the state’s best educators. He has such a wealth of knowledge on teaching and running a band program.”

Stegall’s exceptional quality is “caring about you as a person and wanting you to succeed in life, not just band,” Sims said. “Mr. Stegall isn’t caught up in his own accolades. He works hard for every student and is always willing to listen.”

Sims’ wife Kayla works as band director at Cotaco and Eva junior high schools and as assistant at Brewer High School.

Interested in all music genres, Sims avidly collects The Beatles memorabilia. “I’m a huge sports fan, particularly Boston sports teams,” Sims said. “Kayla and I are involved at our church, and my faith in Christ is the foundation to everything.”

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