North High's band director says he's ready for challenge

September 20, 1999

Dave LuntBy BRUCE HAMILTON / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

North Hagerstown High School Band Director David Lunt didn't rest or rehearse a lot before taking the job.

Principal David Reeder offered him the position Friday, July 30. He started work Monday, Aug. 2, when band camp began.

"It was a big challenge, but it was a challenge I was willing to take on," Lunt said. For the first two weeks of August, he spent 14-hour days conducting, teaching and tutoring North High's musicians.

Lunt held four-hour nightly rehearsals twice a week at August's end. But sheet music for the opening program came late and the band didn't have enough time to learn drills, he said. So they didn't play at the Sept. 4 football game.


"We want to put our best foot forward," said Lunt. The Columbia, Md., native moved to Hagerstown a few days before classes began. He is proud of the North High band's history and he wants to honor it with excellence, he said.

The band has previously held the Maryland State Championship of Bands title for 9 years. That distinction is part of what drew Lunt to the school, he said.

"I'm just excited to be here. It's a great tradition I'm happy to be a part of. I'm looking forward to a great season."

The marching band made its debut Thursday, Sept. 9, with the National Anthem, but rain canceled the game before the half-time show.

The band Saturday performed a new selection, a 1970s rock medley chosen by former director Kurt Widmann. It includes Bill Chase's "Get It On," Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Weather Report's "Birdland."

Reeder said Lunt was an excellent candidate who impressed the boosters president and performed well during the interview. "He just did an extremely fine job," he said.

Lunt's interest in music began in second grade with piano lessons, which he took for 10 years. He wanted to play tuba, but his elementary school didn't have one. He tried violin for a year and played trombone extensively.

He considers the euphonium his primary instrument. It is the one he played in the marching band at Oakland Mills High School, where he was also active in chorus and was drum major for a year.

From 1985 to 1990, Lunt was in the All-State Band, a group of the state's best young musicians. He also was chosen for McDonald's All American Marching Band in 1990. The band, composed of two students from each state, performed in the Macy's Parade.

Lunt attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania for two years and the University of Miami in Florida for two years. He has a bachelor's degree in music education. He has been a band director in Montgomery and Carroll counties.

He studied music because it combines two of his favorite subjects. "Music has always been a passion of mine and I enjoy teaching," he said. It develops thinking skills in students that will help them succeed, he said.

"It really develops the mind in a unique way. It does things underneath that expand the mind."

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