Since Hank Vaughan’s arrival in 2008 he has been a vital part of the music and marching band community. Shaping programs and leading students to become more independent musicians, individuals and learners, the announcement of his departure comes as a sad one to many of his students and colleagues.
Cassie Papandrea, a freshman, says that Vaughan isn’t just a band director but also a mentor and a friend.
“I’m pretty upset, he’s been a big influencce here. We are all pretty upset about it here. We’re really gonna miss him,” said Papandrea.
Students were wondering why he was leaving, but Vaughan said it’s simply time for his family to return home.
“I think the college is going to go in another direction,” said Vaughan nodding. “At this point, we’re going to head back home to Chicago.”
He added that he doesn’t have another position lined up, but that he is hoping to stay in the area of collegiate music.
Vaughan said he’s enjoyed his time here.
“I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The kids have been great, the program has come a long way…I think the level of just not performance, but of responsibility and accountably of the students has come a long way in four years, in this department particularly,” said Vaughan.
He hopes that whoever comes in will continue gaining numbers for the music department and marching band, increase interest in the jazz combo program and that the level of play demonstrated by the students will be ever increasing.
Erika Tyler, a sophomore who was recruited by Vaughn for the marching band program, said that his leaving will force the members of the marching band and music department to come together as more of a community.
“We will have to grow, despite not knowing who will be here in the fall, so it will be a community effort to pull together,” she said.
Another reason Vaughan is leaving the Castleton community has been the opportunity to get his Doctorate.
“Chicago has some more realistic and available options in that capacity,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan is sad to go, but he wants the students to remain strong despite his absence.
“I want [the students] to remember that regardless of who comes in next, what happens next, it’s never been my band – It’s always been theirs. And it’s up to them where they wanna go next, and how much farther they can go,” said Vaughan.
Due to his obligation to the Rutland City band and the end of the semester Vaughan said he and his family won’t be leaving Vermont until late July.
Becka Roe, a Marching Band member and mentee of Vaughan, said “I don’t like change. He’s kind of the glue that keeps the band together-I’ve noticed since he’s given the talk that he’s leaving, the marching band is not as firm together…I feel like we’ll be missing the glue.”
Director of Instrumental Music and Music Department Chair, Glenn Giles is saddened to see his colleague go. He said that Vaughan has done a great job in the last four years here, and has shaped a wonderful program.
“…I’m real pleased with the students in their attitude-He’s built something and they’re out to show him that they can continue on and can keep his spirit alive. I’m sure they’re going to honor a new person coming in and drive to show that what he’s done. I’m saddened by his leaving,” said Giles, smiling.