MORRIS – Members of the Morris Community High School Marching Band are pounding pavement in the high school parking lot this week as band camp is under way – with new band director Jeff Muraida at the helm.
Muraida was one of more than 60 applicants for the school’s position, Principal Kelly Hussey said.
“We were pleasantly surprised with the competitive nature and volume of the pool of applicants,” Hussey said. “We brought in a team of people who included parents, school administrators and teachers who had the opportunity to read the top applicants and chose eight to interview.”
Hussey said Muraida’s name rose to the top.
Former band director Don Stinson announced July 18 he would resign from Morris Community High School, where he had been working for the past five years, to take another position.
Muraida is from Joliet and has worked the past two years at Hufford Junior High School with it’s five feeder schools, and spent the 10 years prior at Dirksen Junior High School in Joliet.
His resignation from his previous contract was official Monday, and Muraida began work at MCHS directing its summer band camp the same day.
“I’m excited by the sense of pride and the love of music from the kids,” he said Tuesday. “I’m excited about the band program, but one of the things I love is the marching band.”
Muraida played the trombone in the Evergreen Park High School marching band before he worked on his undergrad degree at VanderCook School of Music. He has a master’s degree from Central Michigan University.
Muraida worked closely with former Morris Band Director Mike Fisk, who is now a Joliet Township High School director, while he was employed in Joliet and said he is familiar with the program at Morris.
“I’ve worked with Mike Fisk and talked to him to find out about the program, and I knew Don Stinson so I was able to talk to him about what the program and the students were like in Morris. It made me really excited to apply.”
Superintendent Pat Halloran said while Muraida started work Monday, he won’t be formally hired until Aug. 12 when the school board is set to approve his hiring.