Father, son making music at GISH

By Blanca Hernandez, Reporter 

Photo by Jackie Ruiz.
John and Bobby Jacobs enjoy working together at GISH as the father and son duo direct the school’s band and orchestra

            The instrumental music department at Senior High has a family feel to it.

            John Jacobs and Bobby Jacobs keep toes tapping and produce sweet sounds as the father and son duo direct the school’s band and orchestra.

             Bobby, the orchestra director, was just eight years old when he started playing the bass at a church in Atlanta. He played for the church throughout his high school experience and practically lead the band, said John, his father and band director at GISH.

            “I stepped back and watched him become who he is today,” said John. “He has always been amazing and I got to see how much he has grown.”

            This is Bobby’s first year working at Senior High. He previously worked at Shoemaker Elementary School for five years.

            “High school and elementary are different, but I think it’s easier to work with high school students because they get the concepts better,” said Bobby. “I do miss working with little kids though.”

John has been working at Senior High for 10 years but first started teaching in 1986. He taught his first few years at another school but soon auditioned for the US Army Band. He was a part of the band for about 10 years. 

“It was an amazing experience because I got to make music, but I retired in 2011 and went back to teaching,” John said.

He added that the relationship between Bobby and him is special.

“We get along very well and I think it’s easy to recognize Bobby’s talents because he exercises a lot of his ideas, where as I take a long time to learn something new,” he said.

Bobby agreed and said that they can do things together that many parents can’t do with their children. 

“We get to talk to each other during our lunch breaks and figure out what we want to teach the students next. I don’t think a lot of people could work with their parents, but it works for us,” he said.

            Bobby also said he believes that music is important in schools and everyday lives.

  “I think a lot of teachers want well rounded students but music is just as important as math or science. I think it allows students to relax and really enjoy the class. I hope it’s something students can look forward to,” he said.

Both of them agreed that they wouldn’t want to be have it any other way – working together – and said they enjoy spending time together. 

Published by gishislander

Journalism/Communications instructor at Grand Island Senior High School in Grand Island, Nebraska

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