Coming off a big win in Reno, the Fighting Tigers Marching Band has a new director.
Allison Smith, who taught band for 10 years at Dayton Intermediate School in Lyon County, went to work as director on Tuesday, according to Douglas County School District Human Resources Director Rich Alexander.
“She has 14 years of music teaching experience in Nevada,” he said. “Her kids went through the music program at Douglas, and she has been a proud supporter of the Tiger music program for years.”
Smith takes over a Tiger band program that is already winning awards.
“She is energized and ready to go,” he said. “We’re very excited about the marching band.”
Alexander credited Pau-Wa-Lu Band Director Tammy Owens for keeping the band in step after the surprise departure of longtime director Bill Zabelsky for rival Carson High School.
“Tammy did a great job of getting things ready and we’ve had some good substitutes,” Alexander said. “But Tammy saved us at the last minute there.”
While no musician himself, Alexander said he’s looking forward to watching the band.
“I’m really looking forward to the music programs this year,” he said. “I always enjoy the music program.”
The Tiger band did well at the McQueen Extravaganza last weekend winning first place in the AAA division overall and taking firsts for brass, woodwinds and guard-pagentry.
“We are very proud of our marching band and pageantry members and of Mrs. Owens the director,” Principal Marty Swisher said. “They have done an incredible job with the amount of time they have had to prepare.”
Students volunteered for eight-hour practices to try and make up the time lost after Zabelsky left three days before band practice started in August.
Smith retired from the Lyon County School District last year and applied when she heard about the job opening.
“She was initially interested, but we couldn’t work the schedule out,” Swisher said. “Then when she came back two weeks ago, we were excited she reapplied.”
Swisher said there were three applicants for the job, including Smith, due to the time of year.