Underwood School welcomes new band directorPublished 10:43am Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Underwood School is trumpeting in a new band director who has big plans for the program.
T.J. Pelanek is the newest addition to the Underwood School music department, and he said he wants to get the band out into the community more.
“One thing I really like about this is how visible a band can be in a small community,” Pelanek said. “People will know the Underwood band.”
Pelanek has many new plans for the music department, and he said he hopes to grow the band significantly.
“I want to see more excitement in the music department,” he said. “I want us to double our numbers. I’m really fired up to work with these students.”
Pelanek was interested in music throughout his years in school, but when he went to the University of Minnesota, his original plans were to go into architecture.
“After two years, it became clear to me I wanted to do music,” he said. “I loved it.”
Living most of his life in the Madison Wis. area, the small town experience was new to Pelanek when he moved to Underwood.
“Coming here was a bit of a culture shock, but it’s good,” he said. “It’s really nice to know a lot of people in the community, and everybody has been very welcoming.”
Now that he is a couple weeks into teaching in Underwood, Pelanek said the students have exceeded his expectations.
“It has been awesome working with the kids and staff so far,” he said. “Everybody has been very cooperative, and I’m excited to see where things will go. I’m looking forward to raising the bar in the music department.”
Pelanek said he wants to bring a new level of musicianship to Underwood. He also hopes to do more collaborating with the choir, directed by former Fergus Falls Middle School choir director Dana Flint.
Pelanek said he wants to bring some new energy to the music department. He plans to play some new, modern pieces and old standards with a modern twist.
“The students have been dealing with a lot of changes, but they’ve been great,” he said. “I’ve thrown a lot at them, but so far it has been a lot of fun. We’re working together to see what kind of director I am and what kind of ensemble they are.”