By Arielle Goldman
Mr. Banks, the new choir and music teacher, is immensely passionate about his work as both a teacher and musician. From a young age, he has loved everything music has to offer: singing, instruments, a cappella groups, concerts, and more. However, his interests and avocations go beyond music. Read on to learn all about Mr. Banks and his hobbies, dreams, and inspirations.
Where did he grow up?
He grew up in Huntington, Long Island and went to a school similar in size to Byram Hills; therefore, he feels “right at home” working as a teacher at the high school.
Did he ever want to pursue another career path?
If he was not teaching music, he would “probably be teaching English.” For most of his life, he has wanted to teach; however, once he found his passion for music, he knew that music was the path he needed to take.
What is his favorite music genre?
Mr. Banks really enjoys alternative rock, which includes anything in the realm of loud drums and heavy guitars.
Was he a part of any musical groups growing up?
He has been a part of numerous musical groups—so many that he “couldn’t even count them!” In third grade, he started playing the drums, and a year later, he joined both the band and choir. He stayed in choir and band until the end of high school, and he was a part of all the musicals as well as the student-run a cappella group. In his words, he “couldn’t get enough of it” and “was always looking for new opportunities to join music groups.”
Which instruments does he play?
His main instrument is the voice. However, he also confidently plays the guitar, piano, ukulele, and the drums. In addition, he has some skills in other orchestra and band instruments. For example, he “could probably pick up a flute, trumpet, or violin and figure it out.”
Does he write music?
Mr. Banks writes whenever he has time. He recently recorded a couple of his own songs on the computer!
What is his favorite song of all time?
It is “Number 41” by Dave Matthews Band.
What is his favorite T.V. show?
It is Stranger Things because it is a “perfect show,” and he is really looking forward to the fourth season!
What is his favorite ice cream flavor?
It is mint chocolate chip.
Where does he dream of living?
He really loves New York and would like to go out West at some point in his life too. However, he enjoys the changing seasons, so he would not want to stay out there for too long. He also went to school in Ithaca, which he considers “one of his favorite places in the world because of its beauty and nature.” Any place with access to hiking trails and good parks is a place that he knows he can be happy living in.
Who is his musical inspiration?
His high school choir director is a big part of the reason he decided to teach choir, and another conductor he had while in school, Dr. Fox, is “everything [he] aspires to be.”
What are some of his favorite hobbies?
Other than music, he “discovered a really deep love for cooking.” He took a class about three years ago, and he realized that “creating something, experimenting with it, and making new recipes” is a hobby he finds to be especially enjoyable.
Mr. Banks is looking forward to teaching at Byram Hills, especially as the pandemic situation improves and we move closer to being able to sing without being twelve feet apart and wearing a mask!