Interview with Mr. Dooley

Amber Folger, Staff Writer

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The first day of the school year was also Mr. Dooley’s first day. He was fresh out of college and already had a job waiting for him at Millbury Memorial Jr./Sr. High School. He was Mr. Ferreira’s replacement since he left. He first met the marching band and color guard team before school, since we had marching band camp in the beginning of August for an entire week. That was his first look at some of the students he would be seeing on the first day of school. He graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, and applied for a job here at Millbury.

Did you always want to be a music teacher?

“That’s a good question, so I did not always want to be a music teacher. I think I kind of always wanted to be a teacher, but I wasn’t sure what subject I wanted to teach. I mean for a while I was like I could be an English teacher or I liked the idea of being a history teacher, but my mom is a music teacher, both of my parents have music education degrees, so I think it kind of just was like alright I might as well. But I always wanted to be a teacher.”

Where did you go to college and why did you choose that one to go to?

“I went to Temple University in Philadelphia. I chose to go there because I had a lot of specific things. I wanted to go to school in the city, and I wanted a school with a good music ed program, and I wanted a school with a marching band, and I wanted to stay on the east coast so that kind of narrowed it down. Temple was actually my first choice school and so, I auditioned and got in a couple places but that was where I really wanted to go.”

Do you like working at Millbury so far?

“I love working at Millbury, this is the best thing ever. All the students are amazing, the parents are great, the staff members are great. Seriously I could not ask for anything better. I’m having a great time.”

Do the students listen to you and show you the respect that they are supposed to?

“Yeah, everyone is super nice. Everyone is super great, I mean obviously we all have trying times whether it’s late or last period on a Friday. But you know, everyone is human and I’m human, I get that so everybody is super respectful and super great, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Do you like the staff here a Millbury?

“Yeah, I’ve gotten to work with a lot of great people, like Mr. Sullivan, you know being the chorus teacher, has given me a lot of insight about kind of how things work, so he’s been very helpful and super nice. People in my department, Ms. Foley and Mr. Cunha, Mr. Amaral have been so helpful, you know with all of the logistics of working in a school and stuff like that, and so yeah everyone has been great.”

How did you decide on choosing Millbury as a place to apply for a job?

“So obviously when I was looking at jobs, I applied to basically anything with even a little bit of band. So some jobs that were high school band, middle school band, some that were elementary band and general music. Some that were high school band and chorus, and Millbury was one of the great ones because it had a lot of band, and it had a marching band, and that was one of the only jobs that I actually applied for that actually had a marching band, so it was definitely one of my top choices and I really wanted to get in with it. So basically when I got an interview and I was so excited, and when I came back to teach a class I was like “this is amazing” because it had a marching band, there was jazz band , junior high and senior high school concert band, and that was just like it sounded like the perfect job.”

Did you know that you would also be the one who writes the marching band and color guard movements and their music?

“So I was asked in my interview what my experience is with writing music and drill for marching band and, you know, coming into it I didn’t really know what had been done in the past and I mean a lot of it also depends on budget, right, so it depends on is there budget for outsourcing music and drill, or just music or just drill, and of course when you’re writing music you also have to think about the wind parts and then the percussion parts is a totally different animal, so I kind of figured out write the music for the show, because I’ve already written music for marching band in the past and for band in the past, so it seemed like a pretty easy step. So I knew I was going to do that and I knew I was not going to write the percussion parts because that is not in my wheelhouse, so I did have a friend write those. Then when it came time for drill, I knew what I wanted, kind of, my vision of the show and what would be best for the band, and so I decided, I’m just going to do it instead of trying to find someone who will do it for really cheap and maybe not have it in time. I knew what I wanted and I said “ I’m going to do this”. I think it going okay so far, the first experience of trying drill writing , it’s definitely not perfect, but I think it’s going well so far. Luckily I have Sam and Deanna, who help out with the color guard, with your stuff , and that’s super, super crucial to have them.”

Is there anything that they, the different bands would need to work more on?

“Well there’s always more that can be done.We’re always looking for the next level. Right now I think what we really need to focus on is performing. So, we know the music, we can play the music, we have the music memorized, you guys look great, you know your guard stuff for the first two songs. We kind of know the drill, we’re still getting used to it, we’re still remembering it. But for the most part, we know it and if we focus, it’s there. Right now we’re kind of all in our heads and all the music is on the field, the next step for us I think is going to be to work on performing and getting the music to go out to the audience and getting the moving towards the audience, and the dancing and everything to perform.”

Do you think there will be a band trip next year?

“Yeah, definitely. Hoping there’s going to be a good trip next year. I’ve actually been in touch the woman from the company who works on planning the trips, and she said we’re going to touch bases in the spring, so I don’t have a location or anything ideas yet, but there will be a trip next year.”

Is there anything you would change about the school’s music program if you could change anything?

“Well of course, I could always  say “oh, like more time with the band kids” that’s everybody’s wish is to have band every day, or junior high small group lessons, or things like that. But honestly compared to some schools, there is a lot of face time with the students, in the way the schedule works, getting to see people for an hour, five out of every seven days, is really nice. So, I could always ask for more time with the kids  and more one on one small group time, but I really think that we’re fortunate to have time that we do have with the students.”

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