Sound of Dublin Band's new leaders to shoot for 1

Paul Gaudette
Staff Writer

Dublin High School has not one, but three new faces around the band hall as band director Ronny Luedke recruited a team for success after he was hired in March.
Assisting him will be Cathryn Rasbury, who was hired in April, and Paul Higgins, who was hired last month.
Luedke has 14 years of experience, teaching in Rising Star, Bangs and Early, where he was serving when he was contacted by Dublin ISD.
“I wasn’t looking for another job, but it just seemed like a great opportunity,” Luedke said. 
One of the biggest benefits was getting to build his own team.
His first selection was Rasbury, who he had known for several years from summer programs at Howard Payne University, where she went to college. She was teaching music to all grade levels in Cross Plains when Luedke approached her about the job.
Luedke said Rasbury was a good fit because she complemented Luedke’s brass knowledge with her woodwind experience.
This left him to search for somebody with percussion skills. He found this in Higgins, an Atlanta, Georgia, native who got his master’s degree from the University of Mississippi before heading to Texas. He has taught in Dayton, Snyder and Yorktown, making it through both Hurricane Ike and Harvey. Following the most recent hurricane, he was looking for a change in scenery and like the team, the school and the town.
The trio reportedly like their new neighbors, with Rasbury and Higgins renting in town and Luedke moving into the county with his wife, Danielle and their daughter, Grace.
Luedke went to Tarleton, so he knew Dublin, but the town is new to both Rasbury and Higgins. All three reported the city and school are full of “nice people” (in Rasbury’s words).
Rasbury related how she came outside to a flat tire Thursday night and was immediately assisted by several school employees and Martin’s Ready-Go Center, which came to assist her after hours.
They are getting a lot of support from administration as well.
“The superintendent [Rodney Schneider] was sitting in [the band hall office] Thursday asking what he could do to help us,” Luedke said.
The team sees a lot of excitement for the new season, as well as a desire for success.
“It’s been many years since the band got a 1 (the highest ranking),” Luedke said. “We’ve got our eyes on Oct. 20. We set our expectations high.”
He said they have a good basis to succeed with 30 to 35 band members who have fundamentals and basic marching skills upon which the program can build.
“They’re really great kids,” said Luedke in his second week of working with the Sound of Dublin team.
Luedke has put the same though into the season as he did into picking his team. The band will be performing “Spartacus” by Luke McMillan, a band director from Abilene Wylie who Luedke said is good at writing for small schools.
He added that some small schools try to adapt bigger pieces to more modest bands, resulting in hollow or muddy sounds.
They will also adapt the drill to the band’s strengths as the season goes on, making a more tailored show.
The teachers know success doesn’t happen overnight, but they’re ready to build up a great program for this year and the years to come. Rasbury will be teaching middle school music while Higgins will be helping out with intermediate band students. Luedke plans to be a hands-on director, though, and said all three will help in all classes.
“You achieve success when you have more than one set of eyes and ears,” Luedke said.
The hope is that this success and excitement for the program will spread all over the school and community.

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