By Breeanna Runyan
The Libby High School music program has welcomed the new up and coming band director, Matthew Krantz. Starting his student teaching job here in Libby just this fall, many can already tell that he will be a great asset to the Libby High School Band. So far, Mr. Krantz has been loving Libby. “ The community has been absolutely wonderful and very welcoming,” he told The Montanian.
The current LHS Band director, Brenda Nagode, has been teaching in Libby for 39 years, making this year her last year. Nagode will officially turn over the LHS band to Krantz in December . Nagode feels completely comfortable with this transition. She said, “It’s ideal for a band to stay with the same director for as long as possible, but with Mr. Krantz taking the position of director, the band is in great hands. His ideas and aim for quality are tip top.”
Nagode also added, “Mr. Krantz doesn’t settle for anything but the student’s best.”
Some future ideas Krantz has include a half-time show during the Libby Logger Football season, and some new interactive music to get the student section more involved.
Senior Cerria Swagger was somewhat scared when she found out there would be a new band director. Swagger has played in the Libby Middle High School Band since sixth grade, and she is sad to see Nagode leave. Swagger said, “Mr. Krantz is nice and he already gets along with all the students.”
With Krantz’s younger perspective, he has more exposure to newer music. Swagger added, “His new ideas are current with the times.”
The high school administration is also excited to see what’s to come for the new band director. Principal Mrs. VanWorth Rogers said, “Mr. Krantz is a wonderful addition to our music program and we hope to have him here for many years to come.”
Krantz, originally from Helena, Mont., attended the University of Montana in Missoula. He participated in the U of M marching band, graduating this year with a drum major. The other two main instruments Krantz played while in college are saxophone and clarinet. Because of Kranz’s profession as a band director, he is also proficient in all of the instruments played in a band.
Not only will Krantz be leading the middle and high school bands, he will be taking Nagode’s place over at the Libby Elementary School. Working with the first and third grade classes has provided great contrast for Krantz. In the mornings, Krantz works at the high school, and in the afternoon he goes over to the elementary school. The elementary classes are more simple, Krantz said, “ It’s a cool variety to go from the more advanced music with the older students, to the basic and simple fun music with the younger kids.”
The Libby community was officially introduced to the new band director at the Libby High School’s first concert last Tuesday, October 23. This was Krantz’s first time directing a concert by himself. The concert went without a hitch, and Mr. Krantz presented himself in an enthusiastic and upbeat manner. All of the participating bands performed well, and the high school band announced that they will be fundraising for a band trip to Seattle, Wash. this spring.
Although the Libby School District will miss Mrs. Nagode, it is lucky to have Mr. Krantz as the new band director.
Brenda Nagode, and Matthew Krantz pose together for a photo. Photo by Breeanna Runyan, The Montanian