The reputation of Cartersville High School gave Alex Shive the desire to teach there, even though he was in Alabama.
Shive took over the position of director of bands at the school just before band camp started in July, replacing former Director Bob Steelnack.
“I saw the posting for Cartersville High School in January of this year,” the new director said. “At the time, I was working in Phenix City, Alabama. After discussing it with some friends and family, I knew immediately that this is somewhere I wanted to work. Everyone that I talked to spoke very highly of the administration and their support of the faculty and students.”
Name: Alex Shive
Occupational title: Director of bands at Cartersville High School
City of residence: Kennesaw
Education: Bachelor of Science in music education from Auburn University
Family: Courtney Curtis, and our dog, Aria, and cat, Copper
Daily Tribune News: How did you get interested in music, and why did you want to make it a career?
Alex Shive: I wanted to go into music because of the band directors I had as a student – Lance Pruitt, Rick Holland, Mike McGlynn, Jeff Hudson and Jason Smith. Each one of them were a mentor to me and taught me the value of creating a relationship with your students. I want to impact someone’s life the way that they impacted mine.
DTN: What are your responsibilities as the band director at CHS?
AS: I am responsible for all planning, instruction and logistical needs for the instrumental ensembles at CHS. This includes the marching band, basketball pep band, jazz band, wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert band, percussion ensemble and other chamber ensembles that we have. We also offer a music technology and music theory course that I teach as well, which is open to any student at CHS.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about your job and why, and what do you like least about it and why?
AS: What I enjoy the most is definitely the students. I wake up every day excited to find a new way to challenge these kids. They are definitely the most enthusiastic and well-behaved students I have had the pleasure to work with. When it comes to what I like least, there’s really nothing I can think of. I’m so supported here that the problems of most band directors don’t exist here.
DTN: What has been your proudest moment as a band director, and why was it your proudest?
AS: My proudest moment as a band director has to be when our students came off the field after the first Friday night game. Their faces were filled with joy from the crowd reaction they received. It was something they have been missing, and they earned every bit of it.
DTN: Outside your job as a band director, how does music fit into your personal life?
AS: Honestly, music education is my life. Outside of my responsibilities at CHS, I am also a percussion instructor for the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in New York City, an instructor for the Atlanta Quest independent indoor drumline Q2, a consultant for multiple high schools and colleges, including Auburn University and Georgia Tech, and I am also an educational artist with Innovative Percussion.
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
AS: I think people would be surprised to know that music never came easily for me. Band was actually something that I struggled with until the end of my high school career.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
AS: Dedicated, passionate and caring
DTN: If you could visit any period or event in the past, what would you choose and why?
AS: I would love to visit Europe in the late 1800s. There were so many musical innovations during that time.
DTN: Do you have a bucket list, and if so, what is the one thing you most look forward to accomplishing?
AS: The one thing at the top of my bucket list is to study music in the Caribbean. I have always been fascinated with the musical stylings and instruments used in genres like reggaeton, Afro-Cuban and calypso.
DTN: What would the title of your autobiography be and why?
AS: “The Man Who Never Sleeps.”
DTN: If you could have dinner with any historical figure or celebrity, past or present, who would you pick and why?
AS: Wow, that’s a hard one. If I had to pick only one, I think I would want to have dinner with one of the greatest conductors who ever lived, Leonard Bernstein.