Hey Y'all. My name is Daniel Walden and I am the Director of Bands at Straughn Middle and High School. I've been teaching band since 2009 and came to Straughn in 2018.
I grew up in Pinson, Alabama and graduated from Troy University in 2007 with a Bachelor's of Music Education degree. While at Troy I performed with numerous instrumental ensembles including the world famous Sound of the South Marching Band. After leaving Troy I attended LSU where I received a Master's of Music Degree in 2009. At LSU I studied tuba performance with Joe Skillen and had the opportunity to perform with various instrumental ensembles. I spent nine years teaching band and music at Goshen High School in Pike County Alabama before coming to Straughn.
I have been married to my wife Charlotte since 2011. She teaches art at Charles Henderson High School in Troy. We have two beautiful children. Norah is 5 and will be attending Straughn Elementary School starting this year. Asher is 1 and will attend SES when he's old enough.
If I can do anything for you please don't hesitate to contact me and I will give it my best shot.
About the Sound of Gold Band Program
The Straughn High School Sound of Gold Band has a long tradition of excellence. Straughn has produced many outstanding band students and directors throughout the years. The band has received numerous superior ratings at marching and contest festivals, and will continue to do so into the future. Here is some information about the band program:
Beginning Band - A student's band journey begins with beginning band in the 6th grade at Straughn Middle School. In the weeks before school begins we will hold an instrument tryout in the SES/SMS cafeteria. At this tryout students have the opportunity to play several instruments to see what is the best fit for them. There will be a representative from a music store on site to talk with parents/guardians about instrument purchase and/or rent to own. We normally use Art's Music Shop in Montgomery for this. If you have any questions about beginning band please contact Mr. Walden.
7th/8th Grade Band - In the 7th and 8th grade students receive further instruction at a middle school level in order to become better musicians. This class meets 30 minutes prior to the marching/concert band. Students will focus on the skills necessary to be successful at the high school level.
The Sound of Gold Marching/Concert Band - This is the premier performing group at Straughn Middle and High School. This group is made up of 7th-12th grade instrumentalists, color guard, and majorettes. The marching band performs at all football games, several band competitions, and parades annually. The concert band performs several on campus concerts throughout the year, as well as at several concert festivals in the spring. Instrumentalists in the Sound of Gold must complete beginning band. 7th and 8th grade members must participate in the 7th/8th grade band simultaneously. This band meets every day beginning at 2:05 in the band hall with Mr. Walden. We also have after school rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-5:30
Auxiliary Units (Color Guard and Majorette) - These groups are open to 8th-12th grade by audition only. Auditions are held in the spring of each year. Priority will be given to students who also participate in beginning band and one year of marching/concert band. Our auxiliary units provide an important visual component to the marching show. The bright colors and flashy tricks help to communicate the musical message to the audience in a way that isn't possible with an instrument. The auxiliary units meet every day during 7th period with Miss Wood. We also have after school rehearsals on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30-5:30.
Jazz Band- Jazz band meets after school one day per week during the spring semester. The jazz band explores the many styles of the jazz genre. It is a great opportunity for our student musicians to learn a secondary instrument. This group will perform at concerts during the spring semester as well as the Solo and Ensemble festival in April of each year.