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story.lead_photo.caption Ashley Nelson
Kevin Blair
Michael Brand

Jefferson City Public Schools announced Tuesday leaders of Capital City High School's band, choir and orchestra, as well as coaches for a variety of boys and girls teams, have been hired.

Capital City High School will open in August for freshmen and sophomore students. All activities will compete at the varsity level with the exception of football — which will remain junior varsity while the school grows to have grades 9-12 over the next two years.

The school's mascot is the Cavaliers.

Leaders of the school's music programs include:

Band, Kevin Blair

Blair currently works as the assistant director of bands for Jefferson City High School and Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

"Kevin Blair has an intelligent and systematic approach which has been cultivated over his decade-long career leading a wide variety programs to a number of local and national competitions," JCPS Activities Director Ehren Earleywine said in the district's news release that announced the CCHS hires.

"We have no doubt he will build a tremendous program at Capital City High School, which will be tremendously successful in the years to come," Earleywine added.

Blair's experience includes marching, concert, jazz and pep bands, as well as percussion and color guard.

Choir, Michael Brand

Brand's choral experience includes positions as director of choirs; piano teacher; musical theater teacher; vocal jazz director; music director of the spring musical and fall play; set, light and sound designer for the spring musical and fall play; and auditorium manager at Reed-Custer High School in Braidwood, Illinois. Brand also recently served as the event coordinator for the first IllinoiSINGS Choral Invitational at the University of Illinois.

"He has led both groups and individuals in competitions at a very high level in many different choral disciplines and has a proven ability to translate that experience into his teaching," Earleywine said of Brand.

Orchestra, Ashley Nelson

Nelson has served over the past 17 years as the orchestra teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and at Belair, Lawson, Pioneer Trail and West elementary schools; she's currently at Thomas Jefferson.

Nelson also is the manager and violinist of the Harmonia Strings trio and performs with the Jefferson City Symphony Orchestra.

"Ashley Nelson knows the terrain of the JCPS orchestra program having navigated it for 17 years and will have a head start in building the CCHS program as a result," Earleywine said, adding "Her relationships in the district combined with her ability as a teacher is sure to launch our program on firm footing and have an immediate impact."

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"Final determinations on placement of certified teaching positions, department heads and other staff members will be made prior to the start of the 2019-20 school year based on student enrollment, course requests and other factors," the news release added.

Ryan Burns, JCPS director of communication, said the hires announced Tuesday are also included under that statement — meaning their teaching contracts and assignments will be determined later.

The CCHS principal will be Ben Meldrum, who currently serves as the principal at Simonsen 9th Grade Center — which will be closing in its current capacity at the end of the school year. JCPS in November also announced who will be CCHS' assistant principals, counselor director and associate principal of curriculum and instruction.

Leaders of the school's sports programs are featured in a separate sports story.

 

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