Tuning into a new tempo

Orchestra directors James Zauner, Richard Greenwood start directing together

Orchestra+directors+Richard+Greenwood+and+James+Zauner+co-direct+during+third+period+on+Tuesday%2C+Sept.+17.
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Tuning into a new tempo

Orchestra directors Richard Greenwood and James Zauner co-direct during third period on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Orchestra directors Richard Greenwood and James Zauner co-direct during third period on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Alexandra Canizales

Orchestra directors Richard Greenwood and James Zauner co-direct during third period on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

Alexandra Canizales

Alexandra Canizales

Orchestra directors Richard Greenwood and James Zauner co-direct during third period on Tuesday, Sept. 17.

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The start of a school year brings new beginnings for students and teachers alike. For orchestra directors James Zauner and Richard Greenwood, this school year was the beginning of a fresh start. The pair began directing orchestra together with Zauner as head director and Greenwood as the assistant director. 

Along with being the high school assistant director, Greenwood teaches first and second period at Huffines Middle School, so he is only on campus for third and fourth periods.

[Zauner’s] just very friendly and made me feel comfortable. Especially since I have trouble talking to people in general, he made sure I knew I could talk to him.”

— sophomore Gabrielle Ramon

“[Greenwood] has a pretty tough schedule split between the two schools,” Zauner said “Normally the first half of [third period] I’m doing my work and then I go out there and we co-teach some stuff. There’s never anything that’s not done. We just kind of understand what has to get done. If I can’t get it done, he does it. If he can’t get it done, I do it.”

Although the directors are new to the school, Zauner is familiar with a fraction of the students already. He previously worked at Hedrick Middle School and also helped the former head orchestra director with the Chicago trip orchestra took in 2017. However, when he doesn’t know a student, he goes out of his way to form a relationship with them.

“[Zauner] made sure I felt welcome and I always went to him if I needed a new binder, or I needed new sheet music,” sophomore Gabrielle Ramon said. “He’s just very friendly and made me feel comfortable. Especially since I have trouble talking to people in general, he made sure I knew I could talk to him.” 

The history, tradition and community is what really impresses me about [this school]. I love how I immediately feel at home here.”

— orchestra director Richard Greenwood

According to the orchestra students, both teachers have an interesting personality and sense of humor, however, they want to do their jobs and teach students properly. They hope by radiating positive energy they are able to connect to their students and teach effectively.

“My students find it very unique [that I have] very high energy, but I just say it like it is,” Zauner said. “I’m playful in a joking way. I also hold the students to a high standard. I want it to be a high working environment but something they are having fun with as well.”

Greenwood is relatively new to teaching, as this is his first year at a public school. Although it’s Zauner’s 10th year of teaching, he also had to transition into high school as he previously worked at Hedrick for three years. However, the change to this school wasn’t difficult for either of the two because Greenwood and Zauner felt welcome with the school’s spirit and history despite having to adjust to a brand new atmosphere. 

“The history, tradition and community is what really impresses me about [this school],” Greenwood said. “I love how I immediately feel at home here.”

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