Sahuaro’s New Band Teacher: Mr. Jack Schmidgall


Marley Gandee, Reporter

The long-awaited moment for Sahuaro Band students has finally arrived.  After a tumultuous school year filled with false starts and lots of subs, the Fine Arts department is now welcoming Jack Schmidgall to the Cougar family.   It has been a while since Sahuaro’s Band has had a consistent teacher, but recently Mr. Schmidgall was hired to lead the band to greatness. He chose Sahuaro because he has always been passionate about giving back to the community that has assisted him. Although he grew up in Yuma, he fell in love with Sahuaro’s community, teachers, and staff. After looking at the history of Sahuaro’s Band, he knew he wanted to apply for the position. “I hope to help this band grow and become a fixture in the community here, both at Sahuaro and around town.” He also hopes to take the band to competitions and to perform around the community. Another dream he has is to offer more diverse classes for Band, such as jazz band and other ensembles.

Mr. Schmidgall’s love for Band actually began a generation before him – his parents met in a high school band. Being around music since the womb, he started playing the trombone in middle school.  “I really fell in love with it because I really loved the community that band and school gave me. It gave me a ton of friends, it gave me something I loved doing, and a ton of cool opportunities. I got to travel, I got to play with people from other schools, and it was just something I loved doing.” He also loved studying music, so he decided later in high school that he wanted to study band, but, he didn’t want to play music professionally. He learned that he would rather teach others and share the magic with them.

Mr. Schmidgall plays all the brass instruments, and he has basic skills on all other instruments, so he has the ability to better teach them to others.  He also plays some guitar, but his main instrument is the trombone. In his training, he has also taken several vocal lessons.  His other hobbies include hiking, learning to cook different foods, exploring new restaurants with his wife, and occasionally playing Dungeons and Dragons.

During COVID, Mr. Schmidgall has had to learn to adapt to online teaching, just as much as any other teacher. Being in music was a bit more of a challenge though. “Both learning and teaching had to change to be more focused on individual students, and less so on the group. And that’s something I actually particularly like because ultimately we are trying to work together as a group to create the band that you see out on the football field or concert stage, but ultimately I think the best part about being in a high school band is what you get out of it as an individual.”  Mr. Schmidgall will be a positive addition to Sahuaro’s Band and community.