Catherine Armenta

On May 30, Club Blue Director James Llamas announced his resignation as band director for the 2018-19 school year to his students, after two years of teaching at Bonita Vista High. Three of Llamas’ students confirmed that he made his leave decision in hopes of having more time for his family. Next school year, Llamas will teach at Chula Vista Middle School as band teacher.

An online posting for the BVH band director position was published on June 4. Former director of Otay Ranch High School’s band and choir Mark McCann accepted the position of BVH band director on July 22. M. McCann could not be reached for comment.

“A lot of people were excited to hear Mr. McCann was coming in to be our director,” Drum major and senior Sarah Del Olmo said. “With the help of Mr. McCann, we’re pretty confident for the upcoming season and we’re ready for what’s ahead.”

According to Del Olmo, M. McCann is familiar with BVH’s band program because he is a BVH and Club Blue alumnus, and he “frequently stops by to help and attend events.”

“I hope that [M. McCann’s past] experience in Club Blue will be very beneficial to his teaching,” 2017-18 Club Blue Vice President and M. McCann’s younger brother Jason McCann said. “After hearing about the position opening, I had secretly hoped my brother would apply and I was elated when I heard he got the job.”

McCann was selected for the position of band director from an applicant pool of fewer than six internal applicants (teachers previously associated with the Sweetwater Union High School District). BVH principal Roman Del Rosario, Ed.D, established an interview panel which consisted of Club Blue parents Beth Withrow and Laura Larson, returning band student Adrian Lacsamana, Del Rosario himself, and VAPA Coordinator and director at Southwestern College Debbie Nevin to review all applicants

“I feel being Band Director is a special position, there’s a lot of stakeholders that are very interested in who’s selected,” Del Rosario said. “I as principal have to make the ultimate decision and I personally think that if the panel feels strongly about a certain applicant, then it would be foolish not to pay a lot of attention to that recommendation.”

Former and current band students are hopeful for a successful season under the guidance of a new director until the next season begins.

“Although I am graduating, I still want to see Club Blue flourish into the amazing program I know it can be. I look forward to seeing the success of the program I have come to cherish so much,” J. McCann said. “I can only hope that this amazing program with even more amazing people could have the same effect on those who remain and care about the arts.”