Utah high school marching band lead by a special conductor

Nov 5, 2022, 9:28 PM | Updated: Nov 7, 2022, 10:55 am

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Dozens of high school marching bands are in Washington City, Utah, for a big competition.

After a general competition Friday, many of them battled it out with the Bands of America on Saturday. Westlake High School is one of the schools that moved on to the finals.

Westlake has a special band member in an important role this weekend — Jameson Jones, a senior in the life skills program at Westlake.

This is Jones’s third and final year with the marching band, and Saturday night, he is the conductor. But for the students in the marching band, he’s much more than that. He’s their friend with a contagious love of music.

“He’s just such a positive personality,” said Randy Brady, director of bands at Westlake High School.

Three years ago, Jones’ mother, Cindy, approached him and asked if her son could join the marching band. Brady said it was a no-brainer.

He grew up with friends with special needs and loved the perspective and friendship they brought to his life. He wanted the same things for all of his students.

“It’s been really awesome to watch the kids in the band interact with him and to be really protective of him in many cases,” Brady explained.

Jameson’s mother, Cindy, says her son “lives in the moment” and always talks about marching band.

“He’s an honorary drum major right now,” Jones said. “They’ve got him on a little podium right in front of the 50-yard line, and he is in heaven.”

It’s not a charity case. Brady says the senior from the life skills class is talented.

“You should watch him conduct, we get into our ballad and he’s like shaping the music,” Brady expressed. “He’s incredible.”

The students competed against nearly three dozen other schools as part of the “Bands of America” program. They edged out the competition to move on to the finals.

Westlake High School won third place on Saturday night, according to the school. You can check Westlake High School’s Facebook page for more information.

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Utah high school marching band lead by a special conductor