New band teacher at WJHS
Jacob Bradshaw is new to West Jordan High School. Already, the marching band he directs has taken first place in two of their competitions.
On Oct. 17, the marching band competed in the Mt. Timpanogos Competition. They took first place in musical performance, visual performance, percussion and overall. The band and the color guard have won 18 trophies in all. “We were awarded more times this fall season than any other year that the school has been open,” Bradshaw said.
He grew up in California and Utah. He graduated in 2001 from Copper Hills High, where he played percussion, and then went on to the University of Utah. He really hadn't found his place at the U of U and tried different majors. In 2005 and 2006, he taught drums in California. That was when he found his place in teaching. He came back to Utah and, through some research, decided to attend Utah Valley University. Dr. David Fulmer was at the university and Bradshaw greatly admires him. He graduated from UVU in 2011.
Bradshaw then did his student teaching at Copper Hills High and found a job in Phoenix, Ariz.. He planned to stay in Arizona, but then the orchestra teacher from West Jordan called him about the job opening. “She knew that I was looking for a way to come back to Utah,” he said. He oversees anything involving music, marching band, jazz band, concert band and percussion ensemble.
Bradshaw came into the job with fresh ideas, a lot of excitement, and energy. “We put a lot of energy into the program,” he said. “These kids were ready for something different.” The program had shrunk a lot, but the kids that were still there were dedicated and the best of what was there. The marching band program for this year was put together from musical selections by composer George Gershwin. They have competed in the Nebo Tournament of Bands, the BYU Rocky Mountain Invitational, Bridgerland, the Davis Cup, and the Wasatch Front Invitational, among others. They also took fourth in their division at the Redrock State Championship.
Bradshaw will be conducting the orchestra on Nov. 15, 16, 17, and 19 for West Jordan High School's production of the musical “Once Upon a Mattress”. “It's been very busy, but I look forward to it,” he said.
He is hoping to help the program grow in size and strength. The current band members, other teachers and the administration are trying to encourage other students to start playing an instrument, or to continue playing one if they already do. Bradshaw already has some great ideas for the future.
“I do have many ideas for different marching band shows that I am considering for future years,” he said. “I am a big fan of classically charged marching band shows and will do a lot of that over the years. Right now, I have three ideas I am toying with for next year’s show. I am also working on starting an indoor drumline, which has not been done at WJHS for a few years. I am in the midst of arranging the music for that right now.”