Ferrell named Supervisor of Instrumental Music

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It’s with mixed emotions that we publish Mr. Ferrell’s open letter to the Hillgrove band families announcing his promotion.  We are truly grateful for his dedication and commitment to the Hillgrove music program from the very beginning, and wish him all the best in his new role.

Dear Hillgrove Band Families,

Chris FerrellI hope you all are having a great summer with your families and friends and are finding some time to relax. It is always important for us to take time to stop, take a moment, and appreciate and enjoy the fortunes we have in our lives.

As we move forward through our days we encounter so many opportunities to affect the lives of so many. Whether it is our family, someone we meet for the first time, or those with which we share the best moments of our lives, the responsibility and gift is great. I have been so fortunate to be able to spend so much of my time surrounded by wonderful family, colleagues, and by incredible students and their families.

When my family and I arrived Cobb County in 2006 from Texas, we were nervous, unsure, and hoping that we were making the best choice for our future. We could not have imagined the open arms, the smiles, and the beautiful spirit of the Hillgrove community that we were blessed with.

We have all grown-up together. My daughters, Katherine and Madailein were born here and have been with the sounds of the band their entire lives. To them, and to Mrs. Ferrell and I, the band is an inseparable part of our being. We have seen the band program grow from its very inception in 2006, to being an important part of the community and of Hillgrove High School. We have always been there for each other, both in good times and also in not such good times. We have learned together. We have learned the importance of good character, hard work, and serving the greater good. Not always doing what is most convenient or easy is something we have learned to embrace. Doing what is best for the benefit if the group, and not always ourselves in the moment. You have all taught me so much about what is right with the world, and why you are so important to everything that is our future. It is a gift that I can never hope to repay. But it is something we must share with all as our duty to helping everyone we can share and enjoy the gifts of music, friendship, leadership, and spirit that we have shared and enjoyed.

Today, the Board, Superintendent, and leadership of the Cobb County School District have named me the new Supervisor of Instrumental Music effective July 1 upon the retirement of Mr. Gary Markham, one of the most selfless educators, mentors, and greatest icons in music education. I am overwhelmed and humbled to be trusted to continue the tradition of service and leadership of the outstanding band and orchestra programs here in our school district, and continue the work Mr. Markham has done for us all. To be offered the opportunity to share with and to help all of the students and families in our wonderful music programs across the county is simply staggering, and I could not be more honored to begin a new chapter in my career in the best place for music education in the country.

I will use what I learned from you about selflessness, servant leadership, and commitment to work for benefit of all music in our county.–Christopher M. Ferrell, Supervisor of Instrumental Music

Although I will no longer be at Hillgrove every day, please know that I will work tirelessly behind the scenes to help continue and expand the opportunities and preserve the musical and educational opportunities we share. I will use what I learned from you about selflessness, servant leadership, and commitment to work for benefit of all music in our county. I look forward to both of my daughters being a part of the Hillgrove Bands in just a few years time. We are Hillgrove Hawks forever!

I can absolutely assure you that you will be in the most capable of hands going forward. Very quickly, a new Director of Bands will be named at Hillgrove High School. Rest easy in knowing that this person will be able to preserve, protect, and enhance everything about the program. One of my biggest responsibilities in this new position is to help ensure that the best educators and musicians share their expertise with our students. The team will be strong, I assure you. Mr. Erwin, Mrs. Ferrell, Mr. Romanowski, and Mrs. Romanowski are the finest in the business and they will help assure continued success. Please give them all your complete support and trust. They are simply the best! I am more than confident that our county and school leadership will make sure that the best is yet to come for the Hillgrove Bands.

I will be visiting often (it’s part of my job!), and will always have the most special place in my heart for Hillgrove and for all of you. I will always be a click away. We are also working to schedule a time to be at Hillgrove after the July 4 holiday if you would like to visit with me before the rest of your summer. so stay tuned for information. I hope you’ll come by!

I thank you for sharing your spirit, your time, your musicianship and your smiles with me every day. Remember that it doesn’t cost that much more to go first class, and that every day is a crescendo. I truly love you all and implore you to make the most of every moment. Take snapshots in your mind of the best moments of every day, and always remember to Hustle!

Respectfully yours,
Christopher M. Ferrell