Music Department: Fresh approach moves beyond sound

HEHS Music Department staff members bring unique teaching styles, allowing students to discover new ways to perform


Chester leads the symphony orchestra during class.

Abigail Gutierrez, Staff Writer

Over the past two years the Hoffman Estates High School Music Department has gained three new teachers, one of them becoming the new department chair.

Hoffman’s new music department chair is Thomas Chester, who is also the orchestra director. He has big goals for the department: he wants to double in size and modernize the department. 

Chester also wants to help the people in the department as well. He doesn’t want to focus on just the students but the teachers too. He wants to help the teachers help the students. It’s a win-win situation.

“Let’s help you learn and see where we end up,” said Chester. He wants to challenge students to be the best learners they can be. With his mixture of laissez faire and democratic leadership styles, he creates a different but interesting learning environment where kids are curious, successful, feel wanted, involved, and learn more.

Similarly to Chester, Brian Ferguson, the new band director, wants to create a place of growth and feeling like a part of something good.

“I think that kids enjoy being a part of something where they feel like not just a number, but they feel like they belong,” said Ferguson. 

“I would say that my teaching style is quick paced and nit picky,” continued Ferguson. “I want to put a good product out, whether it be on the football field, whether it be a concert, or whether it be some sort of community event.”

He wants the kids to play the best that they possibly can so others can see all of the hard work that they put into their music. 

Ferguson’s new band assistant, Eden Schultz, can be described by students as a very fun, bubbly, and outgoing person. “She is very easy to talk to,” said Crystal Engle, senior. Engle is a marching band student who says this adds to the fun and creative environment that these new music teachers bring to the department. 

Another orchestra student, Nicholas Sears, describes orchestra as being more enjoyable. They really try “to connect with us… they want us to really learn and absorb every bit of information we can and show that in our performances.”