Mr. Hayden strikes the right chord in band class


Mr. Hayden


Sarah Nerwinski, The Delphi Staff, Class of '20

Mr. Thomas Hayden is the new band director and instrumental music teacher at Delaware Valley Regional High School, and he is already leading the program.

“I said I wanted to be a band director in 8th grade. I was in marching Band, and I loved it,” Mr. Hayden said. Clearly, he made the right choice, as he is enjoying the year so far. “I decided that this was something that I could do forever.” Mr. Hayden came from a South Jersey town called Pitman and went to Montclair State University. He fell in love with the Del Val area because of its agricultural themes. “I really became interested when I was driving in. I lived in the Montclair/Newark for the past six years. Nothing but sidewalks, cement, and buildings,so when I was driving out here it was all trees, and cow farms, and sheep. All these animals and it reminds me of South Jersey.” Even though Mr. Hayden only lives miles away from city life, he seems to have found his home here.

Like the best band directors, Mr. Hayden plans to bring a lot more to the table than just directing. Mr. Hayden plans to bring “heart.” He also plans to grow the program in both size and talent. He says his goals are to make music, to grow the program, and to give back to the community in the form of music as much as he can.

Mr. Hayden believes that there is a style of music out there for every student to connect with. “Music
is such a broad thing, there is no way you hate all of it,” Mr. Hayden said. “There are so many different aspects, maybe you don’t like the instrumental so you’ll try vocal. Maybe you don’t like either of that, so you want to do technology. There is just so much that you can do with music.” People will not love every style of music that they hear; they just need to be open-minded when searching for the right form of music to love.

On September 15, 2018, the Delaware Valley Golden Regiment Marching Band went to its first competition of its 2018 season. The band went up against two other bands in their group and came out on top. Winning the first competition has been a rarity for the marching band, especially with the score it received. This was Mr. Hayden’s first competition as director at Del Val, and he led the band to a score of 78.9. “I was very happy with our performance. I could tell the band was really feeling the adrenaline pump because they sounded bigger than usual.” The band won the captions of Best Overall Effect, Best Visuals, Best Percussion and Best Music. “There are a lot of variables that go into the number that they assign as our score, but speaking to the judges gives me a better understanding of what kind of effect we have on the audience. I was happy with what they told me,” says Mr. Hayden. He wants to move forward and continue to grow as a band, learn from past mistakes, and pump up the band to help them win a national championship. “I’m not sure how the rest of the season will go. I believe that I have very little to do with that. All I can do is ask for things to be done. The ensemble has to execute. If we continue to work hard in rehearsals, I am sure more success will follow,” said Mr. Hayden.

Other than teaching music, Mr. Hayden enjoys other activities, just as his students do. Mr. Hayden is a volunteer goalie coach for the Del Val Soccer teams and, naturally, he likes listening to a variety of musi- cal styles and genres. His favorite bands are Snarky Puppy which is a Jazz Fusion band, Umphrey’s McGee, a jam rock band, and Lettuce, a funk jazz band.