Playing a new song
Key is new band director at HHS
Lauren Branas, Hartselle Enquirer
Randall Key has crossed over.
After 10 years of teaching band, a little bit of choir and a two-year stint as the assistant tennis coach at Cullman High School, Key has returned home to take over for Dexter Greenhaw as the new Hartselle High School band director.
While Key said he's pleased with the quality of the Hartselle bands, one of his first goals is to increase the quantity of band members. He will be assisting Jeff Vaughn, the band director at Hartselle Junior High, every day to help improve band unity as a whole.
"Vaughn produces fundamentally good players, and I'm looking forward to working with him," Key said.
Key has some specific ideas about what constitutes a good band program.
"First you have to have good students, and Hartselle does," Key said. "You also have to have committed parents, boosters, administrative support and discipline which Hartselle also has. The program needs community support which Hartselle is great at giving."
Key believes if the community is behind the band it will grow and flourish.
Other goals Key has set for himself are getting more public performances for the jazz band, and he confidently plans on making it to state competition this coming year.
Key is excited about the new possibilities with the Hartselle bands.
"I have deep roots in Hartselle and want to give back to the community," Key said.
Key's mother, Annie-Jo Key, was a teacher at F.E. Burleson Elementary School for 38 years.
Key graduated from Hartselle High School, attended Wallace State Community College for two years, receiving his associates of arts, and then earned his bachelor of arts degree in music education at the University of Montevallo, after which he received his master's from the University of North Alabama.
He taught jazz improvisation at Troy State College and Wallace State College.
Music is central to Key's life. Aside from teaching music, Key has a road repertoire and usually performs professionally about 50 times a year. His resume boasts the knowledge of 18 instruments.
"I enjoy playing corporate and private events, but don't want to do it full-time," Key said.
Key calls his touring a "side job" and plays alongside Jeff Cook in a band called All-Star Good Time Band. He also performs with the band Soul Society. He has performed with Allan Brothers' guitarist, Dickie Betts, actor Danny Glover, screenwriter Felix Justice, Motown entertainer Percy Sledge, Rockabilly sensation Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys, jazz trumpeter Bobby Shew and "Artists of the Decade" Alabama.
Now Key is trying to make the transition between schools and get ready for band camp to be held the first week in August.
In order for the community to begin to get to know Key, the Hartselle High School music department is hosting a meet and greet Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. in the band room