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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

Taylor Duchai falls into rhythm as band director

Iris McDermott
“He had really big shoes to fill and he’s doing it wonderfully,” junior Bowie Gillespie.

With a friendly attitude and the sounds of an exhilarating band ensemble, Taylor Duchai has managed to play his way into scoring a position as the new band director. Duchai is originally from Santa Paula and went to Fresno State for a degree in music education and  his teaching credential as well. 

Duchai was still in college when COVID hit, giving him a lot of free time to find hobbies that connected to his career path.

“After watching certain shows and looking back at the source material for those shows, I started [realizing] that pretty much anything can be turned into a band piece, [or] strings, or choir. There’s a lot of different ways to write cover songs,” Duchai said.

As a “self-described band geek”, he has had an interest in music ever since fourth grade, when he picked up his first instrument.

“My mom had her old clarinet,” Duchai said. “so she taught me how to play it.”

When Duchai had been told that the position of band director at Buena High was open, he was excited to find a job that not only highlights his interests but also allows him to connect with students.

“I figured if I can have as much fun with the kids here, it won’t seem like a job anymore,” Duchai said.

With Duchai taking charge as the new band director, students have embraced his friendly attitude along with getting to know him better as a friend, rather than a teacher. His ensemble seems to have welcomed his arrival very openly.

“He had really big shoes to fill and he’s doing it wonderfully,” junior Bowie Gillespie said.

 Duchai has connected with his students on a more meaningful level, making sure that everyone is not only learning but enjoying their time in his class.

“It’s a very warm… [and] positive environment. He loves being social with everybody.”

— junior Lucas Malave

His interest in music grew throughout middle school and high school and eventually an opportunity appeared.

“The band director [said]  we need a tuba [player], and I didn’t know better,” Duchai said. “I just picked up a tuba and kept going, picking up new instruments and having fun.”

Not only did his interest in music grow, but so did his interest in teaching. He admired his favorite teachers’ abilities with getting to know their students as individuals and balance those relationships with the class as a whole. He’s looking forward to teaching because he wants to emulate the fun student, teacher relationships he experienced as a student. 

“Besides doing the best I can, [it] is making sure that I’m focusing on the ensemble I have,” Duchai said. “Not just the ensemble that . . . everyone wants.” 

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About the Contributors
Nathaniel Valencia
Nathaniel Valencia, Features Section Editor
Nathaniel is a junior at BHS and in his first year for Buean Speaks, he is known for being friendly, caring, and smart. He loves to bake, hang out with his friends and family, and read, especially when it is gloomy weather.
Iris McDermott
Iris McDermott, Staff Writer
Iris McDermott is a senior at BHS and is in her first year at Buena Speaks. She has been drawing and writing for many years creatively and seeks to expand her work ethics and capabilities through journalism. She enjoys many hobbies such as playing video games, doing chores, going on walks, and listening to music.

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