The Vista View

New director promotes achievement in music

" When I accepted the position and started my first day during our Freshmen Camp in June, it was surreal to know that I would be teaching with a program I had watched so closely over the years."

Katherine Beyer, Staff Writer

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William Fritz, the new Assistant Director of Bands, draws upon his love of music to direct his students to success in school, band, and beyond.

“I hope to show students that if you want to be successful—whatever that may mean to an individual student—the most important lessons learned are those that take no talent: showing up on-time, treat others with respect, use your best judgement in decision-making, work hard and seek out knowledge, and doing what you say you are going to do. It takes no talent to do those things,” said Fritz.

This year marks Fritz’s first year teaching at Vista, but spent the previous two years as Director of Bands at Azusa High School. Prior to that, he attended California State University Fullerton (CSUF) as a graduate student in Instrumental Conducting. At the Riverside City College Conducting Symposium in February, 2018, Fritz met Vista’s band directors Donald Wade and Brent Levine, and, upon learning of Levine’s imminent departure to Ohio, and applied for the vacant position.

“I was incredibly anxious about it at first,” Fritz admitted. “The Instrumental Music Program at VMHS is a program that I have been watching for over ten years when I was a coach for various competing programs and as a Band Director at other schools. When I accepted the position and started my first day during our Freshmen Camp in June, it was surreal to know that I would be teaching with a program I had watched so closely over the years.”

Now, Fritz organizes and administers the rehearsals of Vista’s acclaimed marching band, the Golden Alliance. He works with Wade to teach Wind Ensemble II and Concert Band I, II, and III as well as Dual Enrollment Music History and Music Theory. Fritz believes music is a form of self-expression that facilitates communication, teamwork, and responsibility. His passion for music can be traced to elementary school, where he first discovered an instrument to play- the tenor saxophone in fifth grade, which was even bigger than Fritz at the time.

“I literally saw a picture of a tenor saxophone in a picture dictionary and thought, ‘I wanna play that,’” recalled Fritz. He added, “I connected a lot with strong music educators as a kid and knew that I could make a difference helping students the way they helped me. Music is the reason I graduated and stayed on track in school, no doubt.”

Fritz’s experience has forged his dedication to music, which he passes on to the many talented students involved in the band program. His drive to succeed is reciprocated by Vista’s musicians, paving the way for another victorious and effectual year for the ensembles.

“While I believe the intrinsic rewards always outweigh the extrinsic, I hope that our Instrumental Music program can continue to be recognized as a solid, well-rounded program throughout the United States,” Fritz said.

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New director promotes achievement in music