Ty Carver (Class of 2011) has helped the Bourbon County High School Marching Band set a long-held standard of excellence as its assistant band director. Now, Carver and his students will showcase that excellence to a national television audience during the nation's biggest parade.
The Bourbon County High School Marching Band will perform as one of 10 bands from across the country to participate in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2022.
After a rigorous application and screening process, the marching band was initially notified of acceptance into the parade in Feb. 2019 to raise the funds necessary to travel and perform. They were slotted to participate in the parade this November, but high school bands were not allowed to march as a safety precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Information regarding their 2022 performance in the parade was made in a surprise announcement in the high school gymnasium when a representative from Macy's joined virtually to inform the students in April 2021.
The Bourbon County High School Band is a seven-time Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) State Champion and a five-time Bands of America Grand National Class A Champion. Its most recent national championship came in 2019. Carver, who graduated from MSU with a bachelor's degree in music education in 2011, said the band's Macy's parade selection is warranted due to the students' dedication and attitude.
"Bourbon County is known for its outstanding band program. There has been a history of excellence from many band directors before us. I would call this a 'homegrown mentality,'" Carver said. "Although I'm from outside the area, most of our staff are local and many include alumni of the program. Our administration and district are very proud of our program and even some principals themselves are former band directors of Bourbon. Our students are middle-class citizens with the drive and work ethic that produce the best horse farms in the world. A few students have the wealth associated with the farm, but most all our students inherit this work ethic."
Carver has been the director of bands at Bourbon County Middle School and assistant band director at Bourbon County High School since 2019. Before that, he spent several years at Jefferson County Public Schools, serving as orchestra director from 2012 to 2017 and band director from 2017 to 2019. Carver was also a brass/visual tech for the North Oldham High School from 2016 to 2018.
Carver said his MSU experience significantly shaped his teaching career through the education he received, the performances he had and the bonds, both professional and personal, he made with his instructors.
"The most significant thing I can pass on to my students that I learned from Morehead State University is the value of relationships within your work field," Carver said. "I still speak with professors today at Morehead. Because they feel like family to me, I can ask them for help. They know me by name and even comment on my social media often. When I contact them, it may be a question about a particular instrument, how to handle workplace conflict, how to advocate better for my band program, or how to continue providing student-teachers at Morehead with an even better experience than what I had. I've been able to build relationships like these with parents and students of my own here at Bourbon in hopes that they too will turn back and give back to what has pushed them to where they are going."
To learn more about music programs at MSU, email firstname.lastname@example.org, 606-783-2473 or visit http://www.moreheadstate.edu/music