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Teacher Feature - Matt Harris

Matt Harris Band Director holds a saxophone

Matt Harris (he/him) is the Director of Athletic Bands at Tanque Verde High School and the Band Director at Emily Gray Junior High School.

"In the broadest possible terms, my goal in life is to push people to be the best possible version of themselves, whether it be expecting excellency from my students, or holding myself to the same standards. Ever since I began band my sophomore year of High School, I have had a passion for everything in the music world. I have always found myself trying new things, whether it be joining new ensembles and composing, to even joining SAU's Choir with no prior choral experience! I love creating music.

I find that I work best in a team, getting to support and encourage each other through whatever problems we face. I feel that one of my biggest strengths is being creative with my problem-solving, and constantly trying to approach problems from a new perspective. Through my years of education, I have learned much of the skills needed to be successful in whatever position. My favorite part of teaching is the 'Eureka' moment I see in my students after accomplishing some large goal or task. It's so amazing getting to see them grow through their mistakes and persevere to create something worth creating.

When I'm not composing or in a rehearsal, I love watching hockey (specifically, the St Louis Blues!), spending time with friends, travelling, and doing various nerdy things."

matt harris stands on top of a riser in the sunset overlooking the marching band

We asked Matt six questions about his life as a musician:

What Instrument Do You Play?


Best flavor of Pop Tart?

Cinnamon, Wild Berry for random midnight snacks.

Favorite Piece to Conduct?

In the Bleak Midwinter by Robert W. Smith

Baton, Pencil, or just your hands?

Baton inside, hands outside!

What Instrument do you WISH you knew how to play?


Best piece of musical advice you've been given?

Never be afraid to fail. Fail loudly, and learn from it.


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