New band director at Friendship Christian has big plans for the program

Jacob Smith • Aug 4, 2017 at 4:36 PM

Friendship Christian School recently hired Shelby Parfait to take over the band director role, and with her extensive background in music, she has big plans for the program.

Parfait has 25 years of experience serving in various roles with music.

“I’m the choir director at Gladeville United Methodist church and I also do show choir at Perform-Murfreesboro and I am part of the music direction department there for their musical theatre stuff,” said Parfait. “I’ve done band for a long time personally and band has always been a huge part of what we do in my family.”

Playing five instruments, Parfait comes up on the short end within her own family as her husband plays nine and her daughter plays six.

This will be Parfait’s first year as a band director, but she says that the role has always been in consideration for her.

“Well, it’s kind of always been in the back of my mind,” said Parfait. “I had an amazing band director from Oklahoma. My high school band was like a family and it was a wonderful experience. I participated in all-state band and all-state choir. In college, I was a percussionist so I was part of the drumline. It’s always been a big part of what I did.”

Friendship Christian has taken strides toward revitalizing their Fine Arts department in the last couple of years. Parfait says that she’s excited about what this means for not only the band, but also all of the Fine Arts programs as well as the students involved.

“They started a drama department a couple of years ago and one of the big things that I’m excited about is giving the band room a facelift,” said Parfait. “I’m really excited to come into a program that is kind of a grassroots effort. I’m excited that everyone is so excited about having a strong Fine Arts program.”

While Friendship Christian has had a band program in years past, the goal this year is to join the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association.

The MTSBOA allows students to become adjudicated so that they can be eligible for more scholarships through competing in honor choir and honor band.

“Really you have to have kids who want to be involved in band to [join the MTSBOA],” said Parfait. “We do have several students who are very talented musicians who have not had the opportunity to be adjudicated before so they’ll be able to go to contests and audition for honor band.”

The goal for the band this year will be to bring in some young talent so that they can do more with the program in the future.

“Our big push is to bring in those fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders who want to do band,” said Parfait. “Not forgetting about our older kids and giving them the opportunity to take part in band scholarships, but being able to build an entire program. So that’s sort of what I’m here to do, to start the whole thing off with a fresh start.”

Students involved in band at Friendship Christian will certainly have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. Parfait is excited about what these changes mean for the school as a whole.

“I think it’s wonderful, you know, Friendship Christian is kind of known for it’s athletic prowess and academically they’re on par,” said Parfait. “To be able to be in an environment that is really supportive is wonderful. I think it’s great that we want students to have a place regardless of where their passion lies. A place where they belong and can excel.”

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