North Vermilion's Gaspard: State’s top band director

NV’s band director Jude Gaspard (middle) accepts the award.

LEROY — Jude Gaspard has served as band director at North Vermilion High School since 2004 and he has no plans to leave anytime soon.
Why would he? Gaspard is in a pretty good spot.
That is evident by Gaspard being named the Phi Beta Mu Louisiana Band Director of the Year. Phi Beta Mu is the International Bandmasters Fraternity. The organization names one director for the state’s top honor.
Gaspard received his award at the recent State Music Educators Convention in Baton Rouge. Gaspard said he was honored to simply be in the conversation.
“With so many great band directors in this state,” Gaspard said, “I was honored to be nominated, much less to receive it.”
At the same time, Gaspard stressed that the award is not reflective of only his work.
“The directors over there haven’t really seen me teach,” Gaspard said. “They just know about our program. I told the students that is a reflection on them.
“This is not about me. It’s about the whole group at North Vermilion and what we have all accomplished.”
Those students make it easy to put a successful program together.
“I am lucky because the students I teach are very cooperative,” Gaspard said. “The students are involved with so many things, but they manage everything so well.
“I am very fortunate to teach good kids.”
North Vermilion Principal Tommy Byler said the school is fortunate to have Gaspard.
“He takes a lot of pride in doing things first class,” Byler said. “He demands a lot from his students.”
Parental support and backing from the school’s administration play vital roles in the program’s success.
“The support is always there,” Gaspard said. “A lot of this would not be possible without that support.”
That support has been there since Gaspard arrived in January of 2004. That is a big reason why, after 13 years, Gaspard has no plans to move on from North Vermilion.
“It’s fun because I am in a pretty good spot,” Gaspard said.

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