White comes on board with THS band

Justin White is the new assistant band director at Thompson High School. (Contributed)

Justin White is the new assistant band director at Thompson High School. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

There will be a new face at Thompson High School in the band department this school year. A new assistant band director, 26-year-old Justin White is in the process of moving to our area so he will be in place before school starts.

A native of Russellville, Justin has always loved music. In fact, he enjoys several different types of music as long as heart and thought can be felt in it.

As a youngster, he attended a W. C. Handy Festival in Florence (Jazz camp was a favorite too). Between exposure to the concert and the mentorship of teacher George Crummie he knew music was his career choice.

A graduate of the University of Alabama, former Million Dollar Band member (tenor sax), White was accepted into the graduate program at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. He has served the last two years there as a graduate assistant.

White met Jon Bubbett (longtime THS band director) more than two years ago at a conditioning clinic at North Texas. When the opening appeared online for the assistant’s job, White was quick to apply. Seems providential to come back so close to home and to such an established, award-winning program.

Music is the way in which Justin White shares. He wants to become an important part of his students’ lives and to be a friend, teacher and personal mentor like he was blessed with.

Dirt track racing, “playing around” with several bands, teaching, being an active church member and seeing longtime girlfriend Shelby Brownell (attending UAB in marketing) keep Justin busy and happy.

“I want to provide the very best opportunity for my students,” he said. “Thompson High School has a wonderful reputation, and my goal is to support and continue the tradition of excellence here by utilizing my abilities and ideas. We all have the strength to improve.”