Alfred Watkins and the Lassiter High School Band: A Qualitative Study
Type of Degreedissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The purpose of this study was to explore the life and lifework of Alfred Watkins, Director of Bands at Lassiter High School for 27 years and to describe the components that contribute to the success of the Lassiter High School Band Program. Lassiter High School, located in Marietta, Georgia, has grown to represent excellence in all facets of the program and has sustained the reputation and the reality of that high level of achievement for nearly 30 years. Excellence in large ensemble performance (concert bands, marching band, jazz band), chamber music, and individual performances have led to Lassiter’s recognition nationally as one of the most comprehensive high school band programs in the country. Topics covered include Watkins’ philosophy of the program, band curriculum, organization, and other unique qualities that have contributed to the development of the program. Data collection for this qualitative inquiry included direct observation, participant observation, video observation, study of documents and artifacts, and systematic interviewing to describe the history, philosophy, structure and organization used by this exemplary teacher and this exemplary high school band program. Observations from this study can inform practicing high school band directors and their programs and can also be used to shape curriculum for undergraduate music education students.