Drum Roll Please!

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Drum Roll Please!

Asheby Kearns, Staff Writer

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Jordan Beckstrand is mainly a percussionist. For those that don’t know, percussionists usually play instruments more hands on. Percussion instruments consist of the drums, timpani, gongs, and many more. Jordan Beckstrand has been a percussionist for twenty-three (23) years. His favorite instrument is the shekere, an African shaker made out of a gourd with beads woven into a net around the outside. His instrumental knowledge extends to the violin, trumpet, piano, and clarinet.


Beckstrand grew up in Japan, spending ages four (4) to eleven (11) there. He grew up in Japan, because his father taught on an air force base. When his family moved back to the United States, they lived in Davis County, Utah. Beckstrand attended Davis High School, where he met his wife.


Before he taught at Murray, he worked as a systems quality assurance analyst–someone who tests software the company made, ensuring there weren’t defects, prior to sending to customers– at a company owned by H & R Block.


Beckstrand has prior experience as a teacher, working as the drumline instructor at Viewmont High School for ten (10) years. He was inspired to return to school, in order to achieve a degree to become Murray’s current instrumental teacher.


Before Murray High School hired him, Mr. Beckstrand applied at Riverview Junior High. Mrs. Webster’s retirement became known to him by her husband, since Webster’s husband works at Summerhays. The junior high hired Murray’s previous teacher, Mr. Giddings, but recommended the high school position to Beckstrand. When he was hired, he was ecstatic, hearing excellent things about Murray High from other band directors and Mr. Giddings.


So far, Murray is treating him excellently. Beckstrand “feels like everyone is pretty welcoming, and no one has treated him like a leper yet.” When asked about any fears he had coming in, he didn’t have any, but felt apprehensive. Beckstrand was apprehensive about being the new teacher, feeling it difficult attempting to fill Giddings’s shoes. However, he enjoys teaching at Murray, liking the classes and students.


One of his favorite experiences with the students so far occurred very recently. According to Beckstrand, “a big box had been in the room. Some kids grabbed the box, and a student went in it. The box was put outside of his office door and knocked on. A student was meowing outside the door, causing Beckstrand to write on a whiteboard saying ‘I know so-and-so is in the box. I’m not opening the door. #BandKids.’”


Mr. Beckstrand has a positive outlook on Murray’s instrumental program. The program continues to increase drastically, possibly requiring another teacher in a little while. Not only will another teacher need to be brought in, another orchestra and percussion class may emerge. The two concert bands will continue filling up. While the program increases, Beckstrand hopes to continue the great traditions Murray already has, and continue students’ love for music.


We look forward to a great year with Mr. Beckstrand, and thank him for everything he has done so far in our instrumental program!

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