Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Where every person has a story.

HHS Media

Do you feel that HHS and our city are inclusive environments for all cultures/ethnicities?

  • Yes, I do (60%, 67 Votes)
  • We can improve (30%, 34 Votes)
  • No, I do not (10%, 11 Votes)

Total Voters: 112

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HHS band director recognized, Music Educator Of The Year

Band+director+Daniel+Upton+conducts+a+band+performance.+Photo+courtesy+of+Bob+Adamek+++
Band director Daniel Upton conducts a band performance. Photo courtesy of Bob Adamek

Daniel Upton is the current band director at Harrisonburg High School (HHS). He has led the HHS Marching Band through multiple superior scores for band competitions this year. 

This is Upton’s 12th year as the HHS Band director. Upton started band when he was in the sixth grade and continued in band throughout high school. He attended Madison County High School.

“As a band director, you have a substantial workload. There is a lot of paperwork and logistics. If you’re unorganized it’s even harder. You want to be there for your students when they need it. As an educator and band director you must do that for them, so it really is a balancing act of utilizing every waking moment that you’re working and making time for your life outside of school,” said Upton

Upton had a vision for the HHS band to be a place where everyone can go for music education. 

“Band means a community, a safe place, everyone working toward one goal and everyone is just as important as everyone else,” Upton said.“

“Pre Covid-19 I was very terrible at work-life balance, and I have worked hard since then to get better at it,” said Upton.

Upton originally wanted to be an architect however, when he took some classes for architecture, he realized that he only liked designing the outside of the building. But he soon realized his happiness was held within musical education. Directing a band was not something he foresaw in his future. 

“When I told my high school band director I decided to be pursuing being a band director, he had a very puzzling response because he knew I wanted to be an architect because it was so public and so well-known, and from that point on, he did everything he could to support me and rally me and congratulate me,” said Upton.

Great mentors surrounded Upton throughout high school and college, modeling the music educator he will become.  

One student who was able to experience Upton’s mentoring style is sophomore William Perrit. Perritt plays in the drumline.  Uptons mentoring was not limited to music education.

“I love Upton, he’s one of my favorite teachers,” Perritt stated.“He likes to push you. When I first started percussion, he had me start playing things right away even though I didn’t think I was ready, but that’s just his way of teaching, just to get you going.” One life lesson Upton has taught Perritt is not to wait to start learning something new. 

 Another student, junior Chloe Starling also testified to Upton’s ability to motivate students in the right direction. 

“He really pushes you, and he will give you opportunities individually, and he’ll make sure you are a successful musician,” Starling said.

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